A Winner in the Bathroom
Review by Ross Anthony

Channel X is loosing in the TV wars to the Gardening Channel. "We're being beat out by soil!" the producer cries, scrambling for a drastic measure she gets the go-ahead on a scheme to have one average person in his average life filmed live all day. She chooses Ed, an ordinary guy not unlike your cousin or brother-in-law or you. Channel X becomes EDTV: "All Ed, All the Time".

The first few days of EDTV are dangerously boring, Ed drops a Pop-Tart in the kitchen and a station executive blurts "Oh look, an action sequence." But things quickly pick up when Ed's brother (Woody Harrelson) cheats on his girlfriend who basically runs crying into the arms of innocent Ed -- and it's on every TV set from Anchorage to New Orleans.

Matthew McConaughey gives a flawless performance as the American everyman. "I prop the mirror up like this, and wah-la ... I can watch the TV while sitting on the can. Yea, I might not be much in the business world, but I'm a winner in the bathroom." He's cute and innocent, yet as apt and charismatic as Paul Newman. Woody Harrelson is as flamboyant as ever and Jenna Elfman is simply irresistible as the emotional love interest..."shout out 'guys suck' then go eat a pound cake."

Two Qualms: 1) In a scene where Ed and crew (ergo, the viewing world) catch his brother with another woman ... the brother fails to shut the apartment door, thereby practically showing off his blunder -- I absolutely don't buy it. 2) Ed, in an attempt to sneak away from the cams to visit his girlfriend, decides his car is a good place to hide. (As if it hadn't been broadcast on national TV at least twice a day.)

Anyway, good performances by everyone, including director Ron Howard. He's sprinkled the film with sugary side gags that sweeten it's appeal. Though the thunder of its big idea may have been lost to "The Truman Show" (released months prior), this screenplay still has real and punchy dialogue. Despite it's faults "EDTV" will engage from beginning till end.

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman and Woody Harrelson
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Image/Grazer/Universal.
Screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel.


chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:11:47 PDT