Time: 122 mins.
The reason Ron Howard's films are popular, but ultimately won't be remembered, is because he refuses to take chances, to uncover his dark side. Maybe he doesn't have one, and neither does this film, which is why THE TRUMAN SHOW, which sort of covers the same ground, is ultimately the better movie...though not by much. The comparisons are somewhat unfounded because Ed willingly becomes a media pawn, initially embracing fame and fortune. Truman has no idea that his entire life has been constructed for the amusement of others. However, the concepts are similar enough. They both fight back against the establishment after discovering a life under the microscope may have its' advantages, but anonymity is the greatest perk on the planet. The films' greatly diverge from there. Ed wants his old life back, Truman wants control of his. Though McConaughey is better looking than Carrey, Carrey's performance blows Matt's away. There's just an edge to TRUMAN that makes it far more compelling fare than ED.
However, EDTV isn't a bad movie. In fact, it has some wonderfully funny moments, but it depends on this one concept to carry you through the film and after the first hour it gets kind of old. Ed is too stupid and dorky to be truly interesting, though the film tries to convince you that that's why everyone's watching. To Ed, this offer is just a fluke, a way to make some money, maybe get a little fame, and help his family jump up a notch on the food chain. Of course, things start to go haywire almost immediately, making his life miserable and the whole world unable to turn away. Cynthia, played by Ellen Degeneres, knew her concept would work. She knew Ed was the man who was going to make all of her network dreams come true. The more skeletons revealed from Ed's closet, the higher the ratings go. Who knew white trash America could be so interesting?