EdTV - rated - SIMMERING

What a shame for the filmmakers that this film came out after The Truman Show. It stole their thunder. Then again, EdTV is based on a French Canadian film called Louis XIX, King of the Airwaves, so I guess they can't be surprised that it isn't praised as an original idea.

It's a well-executed film, immediately recognisable as a Ron Howard film. It is visually very interesting - well directed, funny, and extremely well cast. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as brothers? Brilliant! And both give wonderful performances. On the other hand, Jenna Elfman is wasted as Shari, the love interest. She is all but unrecognisable, and has not enough to do. She's just the clichéd girlfriend.

Speaking of clichés, Liz Hurley has a spot as a predatory model, and she brings absolutely nothing to the role. Honestly, I can't understand why this girl keeps getting comedy gigs. She's both awkward and awful.

This film is most interesting in its depiction of a working class family in the USA. People have ordinary (very ordinary) jobs, people are unemployed, people spend a lot of time eating and watching TV. The other interesting aspect of the film is the attention given to the people who are watching EdTV. Unfortunately, this is mostly played for laughs, when a more thoughtful analysis would have been intriguing.

So all in all, I think The Truman Show took a more thoughtful approach to similar issues. This is a more show-biz approach to the material. And what's wrong with that?