The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (2)
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Slightly predictable, but also warm and entertaining.
An above average romantic comedy...
A sports talk show host develops affection for a beautiful young woman while resisting pressure from his fiance to take a job in cardboard sales.
I'm surprised at how disappointing this film is. Writer/director Edward Burns often crafts complex, colorful characters and puts them in interesting relationship dilemmas. The formula usually works, but these characters are incredibly plastic. Matt Bush says his lines, and that's all that can be said for him. He's nice, as required by the plot, but there's nothing interesting about him.
Burns's theme can be summed up by the stupid cliche, "Nice guys finish last." As evinced by Burns and the cliche, "nice" in this context means "weak" or "ineffectual." Thus, the film doesn't say anything unique about niceness or that sticking to a code requires strength and character. Johnny's code is society's code, the code set for him by everybody else, so there's no individuality to the character.
Overall, unlike most of Burns's work, this movie sucks.
Cast: Max Baker, Kerry Bishé, Edward Burns, Matt Bush, Brian Delate, Marsha Dietlein, Harper Dill, Michele Harris, Jay Patterson, Callie Thorne, Anna Wood
Director: Edward Burns
Summary: Although he loves his job as sports radio talk show host, Johnny (Matt Bush) promises to take a dull but high-paying position to satisfy his fiancée (Anna Wood). But when he falls for a free-spirited beauty (Kerry Bishé) in the Hamptons, Johnny starts to reconsider everything. Written, directed and co-starring Edward Burns, this romantic comedy explores the difficulty in choosing between one's duty and one's dreams.
My Thoughts: "It's a slow burn semi romantic film. My problem with the film is that the acting just wasn't believable. The story wasn't convincing. I am sure there are people out there who have been in Johnny's position with a choice of starting a life he's a hundred percent not wanting at the moment and the choice to follow his dreams. But the film was overly done to the point of it being obvious. Plus by the time he sets out to the Hampton's with his Uncle Terry, you pretty much will figure out how the film will end. No surprises in this romance flick just like so many others like it."
I love Ed Burns, and I love what he can do for a movie...his touch is really something special. Everyone has that person in their life that teaches them to be true to themselves, and this movie covers that subject well. A very touching, romantic film. I enjoyed it.
Sweet, unimposing little film from Edward Burns. You know, Edward Burns? THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN? That spiky little made-it-for-$25,000-on-credit-cards film that jump-started the independent film era in the 90's? Now he's shooting direct-release movies on digital for his love of the format, not for big studio bucks, and though the results don't break any sound barriers, it's nice to have him back. NICE GUY JOHNNY is about a nice guy named... well, you guessed it. 25 and about to be married, he goes to visit his ne'er-do-well uncle who tries to get him to consider some other alternatives before settling down in a dull job with the girl he's been with for years. Can you guess what happens? You might be able to. But Matt Bush as Johnny is so fresh and appealing, and the whole film is so engaging, that it's unoriginality is almost what makes it original. Direct, straightforward and unblinkingly sweet, this is a nice little watched-it-right-on-my-couch night at home.
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