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At Theaters: 3/26/1999 On Video: 8/17/1999
Rated: PG-13 Length: 2 hr. min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 039912
Studio: Universal Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading

EDtv follows the awkward, often hilarious and sometimes painful predicaments suffered by the members of a quirky family when the youngest son, Ed, an unambitious video store clerk, is plucked from obscurity and becomes the blockbuster hit of the season when he agrees to have his "life" aired on TV 24 hours-a-day.

DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - EDtv is a satirical comedy about fame and the media from director Ron Howard (Parenthood). The tone is fairly light and comic, and should appeal to fans of conventional comedies with a bit of romance. Viewers who were big fans of last year's The Truman Show should not expect a similar level of inventiveness or insight into the subject of mass media, "reality television" and television viewership. Amusing but slight, should be approached strictly as a diversion with some good punch lines.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Matthew McConaughey (The Newton Boys)
Jenna Elfman (Krippendorf's Tribe)
Woody Harrelson (The Thin Red Line)
Producer: Brian Grazer (Liar Liar)
Dir/Prod: Ron Howard (Ransom)
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Production Notes Heading
Production Information
About The Story
The Cast
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Moderately strong and fairly frequent
SEX/NUDITY: Bare buttocks, suggestive sexual content
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Consumption of beer
ACTION: One chase scene on foot; a slapstick make-out scene
COMEDY: Lots of situational and slapstick comedy.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Pictures © Universal Pictures Inc. ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Average
Following on the heels of the brilliant The Truman Show, EDtv tries to be about fame and media folly in a different way -- and not a very successful one. This story of an average guy whose life becomes a 24-hour-a-day televison show should have made some attempt at social satire, but director Ron Howard is primarily concerned with turning out a simple and jokey romantic comedy that glosses over the tough subjects. It's even more bizarre to watch it turn into a kind of meta-commentary on its own crowd-pleasing sensibilities. Amusing but utterly inconsequential, it takes the easy way out of giving viewers what they want to see rather than telling them what they need to hear.
DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 118 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
19
High
95%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
19
High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
24
High
100%
30+Adults (M)
25
High
96%
30+Adults (F)
31
High
90%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
The NorthWest Broadcasting Company's flagship cable channel, True TV, has suffered a catastrophic slide in their ratings in the two years they have been on the air. Renowned for their documentary programming, they have now lost ground, as program director Cynthia Topping (DeGeneres) bluntly states, to something called The Gardening Channel.

So, in a desperate attempt to boost the station's ratings and save her career with the network, Topping cultivates a novel idea, a new concept in the history of broadcasting-putting one ordinary person's life on cable TV 24 hours-a-day! Unlike the historic PBS documentary on the Loud Family two decades ago, and totally dissimilar to MTV's popular Real World show, Topping's program will contain no script.. .no actors.. .no editing. Each and every second will be true. Unscripted. Unedited. Unrehearsed. Uninterrupted. And, unpredictable. According to Topping, America is supposed to sit in front of their TVs and watch this person live.., live!

Once network executives reluctantly okay the idea, Topping and her staff set out to find the ideal candidate for this unprecedented format, which could, if it fails, become a new low point in network programming. After numerous auditions, they pluck a boyish, goofy, thirty-something guy from San Francisco, Ed Pekurny (McConaughey). Within a week, this unambitious video store clerk has become the blockbuster hit of the TV season. And, as True TV's ratings soar, the eyes of America are on one thing.. EDtv. This new media sensation spawns fan clubs, stalkers, national headlines and even television imitators as EDtv becomes a public obsession and a new emblem of the American psyche.

At the outset, Ed welcomes the constant attention as he is shadowed, wherever he goes, by a three-man video crew. Once inside his apartment, several mounted cameras record his mundane existence. As Ed sleeps, the network carries highlights of his day's events. And, while Ed may sacrifice his privacy (some say even his dignity), sex is off-camera and off-limits to his viewers.

However, celebrity has a price, and while Ed initially embraces his newfound fame, he also witnesses the awkward, often humorous and sometimes painful predicaments suffered by members of his family who automatically become part of the program, and infamous in their own right.

Ed alienates his brother, Ray (Harrelson), a failed businessman, by falling in love with his sibling's girlfriend Shari (Elfman), initially to the viewers' and network's delight. Then, unexpectedly, his estranged father Hank (Hopper), who abandoned the family decades ago, suddenly reappears, causing friction and a rift between Ed's mother, Jeanette (Kirkland), and her second husband, an inquisitive ailment-ridden senior citizen named Al (Landau), whom Ed truly adores.

Ed also realizes that his success on camera has turned him into just another popular consumer product. When he finally decides to end his time in the limelight, which he has now endured for four months, he encounters resistance from the network brass-nor Topping, who becomes a fan, but her boss Whitaker (Reiner). Ed then must find a way to stop his ordeal, cancel EDtv, and return to the normal life he led before fame made him a daytime, nighttime and primetime superstar.

For Ed Pekurny, fifteen minutes of fame is fourteen minutes too long.

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