W: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel [based on the
screenplay "Louis XIX: Roi Des Ondes" by Emile Gaudreault & Sylvie Bouchard]
DP: John Schwartzman
Ed: Mike Hill & Dan Hanley
Mus: Randy Edelman
Pd: Michael Corenblith
Matthew McConaughey (Ed Pekurny), Jenna Elfman
(Shari), Woody Harrelson (Ray Pekurny), Ellen DeGeneres (Cynthia), Sally Kirkland (Jeanette), Martin Landau (Al), Rob Reiner (Mr. Whitaker), Dennis Hopper (Hank Pekurny), Elizabeth Hurley
Ron Howard's satire of reality TV is well-intended,
but altogether a bit of a mess (if you watch the DVD extras, you'll witness a ridiculous amount of filmed scenes which ended up on the cutting room floor).
Arriving on cinema screens during the dawn of the new
age of "car crash TV programming" and following in the wake of The Truman Show (a much better film), it tells the story of an overzealous TV producer who coins an idea to follow an
Average Joe around with a filming crew for a couple of months, they select Ed (Matthew McConaughey), an average working class dude with a rather dysfunctional family, however when his
private life is made very much public by the 24-hour soap opera, he wants out, but the show has proved too much of a hit for the producers to pull the plug.
Much of the satire works quite well, with the TV
station manipulating much of Ed's daily life for higher ratings, but the final third of the movie sinks into puerile dick & fart jokes which simply don't belong.
It seems as though the film, much like the producers
of the fictional reality TV show, just made it up as it went along, filmed what was thrown in front of them, and simply wished for the best.
Not bad, but nowhere near as intelligent, witty or
memorable as The Truman Show, and perhaps this is why it flopped massively at the box office.