“Ed TV” is the new comedy helmed by “Hollywood legend” Ron Howard. Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Sally Kirkland, Woody Harrelson and Dennis Hopper all create characters that are believable and at the very least, interesting. Ellen DeGeneres and Rob Reiner are mostly awful, but it’s the outstanding performance from Martin Landau that really seems to hold your interest, as well as hold the film together.
“Ed” (McConaughey) is your average thirty year-old video store clerk whose charming personality wins him a spot on a new, high concept television show. Behind this new piece is a failing television executive (DeGeneres) whose career can’t seem to sink any lower. The idea for the show: follow a subject, continuously with no editing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Obviously comparisons are going to be made with the critically acclaimed Jim Carrey film “The Truman Show”. With “The Truman Show” you have one man’s struggle for the truth about his surroundings as well as his very existence. “Ed TV” is basically a comedy … nothing too deep or intelligent, just some funny situations. In fact, it is these funny situations that make “Ed TV” more believable.
The problem with “Ed TV”, as is the problem with most Ron Howard projects, is its lack of anything of substance to say. “The Truman Show” had a story with depth that made it memorable. Unfortunately there is no stamp that will make “Ed TV” stick out in your mind from all of the other films out there. In fact, were it not for the great performance from Martin Landau, the film would be instantly forgettable.