EDtv - B
Viewed October 4, 1999 at the Chateau

For films that had similar premises, Edtv and The Truman Show couldn't have been any more different. The Truman Show was a high-concept flick that wrung as much metaphorical juice out of its scenario as it could; EDtv is a crowd-pleasing entertainment that seems to go out of its way to sidestep any sharp satirical or metaphorical points inherent in its premise. In comparison, EDtv seems malnourished. Which is really a shame, since it's an effortlessly entertaining film that Hollywood should do well, but so rarely does. Ron Howard's sure direction keeps the pace chugging along merrily and at times, the film gets into some fine comic delirium as Ed's life evolves into a funhouse mirror. Even the 40 minutes of deleted material on the DVD make for interesting viewing. Performances are good all the way around, especially Ellen DeGeneres (rapidly evolving into a great comic supporting actress like Bonnie Hunt) and Matthew McConeaughy, who walks the fine line between irritation and cocky charm with aplomb. Jenna Elfman also deserves a nod for her convincing imitation of Renee Zellweger; it's far more entertaining work than the strained "wackiness" of her Dharma.