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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: EDtv

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman
Director: Ron Howard
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 122 Minutes
Release Date: March 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Woody Harrelson, Sally Kirkland, Martin Landau, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Reiner, Dennis Hopper, Elizabeth Hurley, Adam Goldberg

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

We're obviously a nation besotted with celebrity, fame, and seeing ourselves on TV. If you doubt it, watch the crowds that gather outside NBC in Rockefeller Center every morning to wave and mug for the "Today" show cameras. "ED tv" is about a goofy, ordinary guy from Texas - Matthew McConaughey - who is catapulted to instant success when his photogenic face is spotted by "True TV" producer Ellen DeGeneres, who is determined to air someone "live" on cable 24 hours-a-day. From video store clerk to TV star in that the new American Dream? Unlike "The Truman Show," in which Jim Carrey was the unwitting dupe, or "Pleasantville," in which two teenagers get stuck in a '50s sit-com, the star of "ED tv" succumbs to the aphrodisiac of fame, volunteering to give up his dignity for the spotlight. After discussing it with his family (Woody Harrelson, Martin Landau, Sally Kirkland) McConaughey gamely allows cameras installed in his apartment to record his every move (except in the bathroom) and tries to ignore the three-man crew dogging his steps - until he falls in love with his brother's girl-friend, Jenna Elfman (who resembles a wannabe Renee Zellweger). Only when she resents the constant intrusion does McConaughey realize what celebrity and the sacrifice of privacy really mean - but, by that time, the audience has become addicted to watching his "life" unfold. Written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("Parenthood," "City Slickers") and directed by Ron Howard ("Ransom," "Apollo 13"), "ED tv" is a relentlessly entertaining, cleverly comical satire of our American obsession with the limelight. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "ED tv" is an engaging, delightful 8, focusing on people who are considered special just for being famous.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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