Matthew McConaughey is Ed. When Real TV decides to run a show following one person around 24 hours a day, Ed's brother Ray (Woody Harrelson) decides to give it a shot. But instead when Ed gets on camera, the producer (Ellen DeGeneres) wants him. So Ed is chosen to have his life broadcast to the world, 24 hours a day. Well, Ray gets a little jealous. He gets caught cheating on his girlfriend Shari (Jenna Elfman) when Ed stops by to visit, camera crew on hand. Then Ed and Shari get together, until she can't handle having her life televised all the time. Then another woman (Elizabeth Hurley) shows up to try and boost tv ratings. Then Ed decides he wants out, but the studio boss (Rob Reiner) won't let him leave until Ed hatches a plan to get himself taken off the air.
The story was really nothing new. It's more or less just a romantic comedy. The difference obviously is that it's a TV show at the same time. Everything the characters do is seen my millions around the world. The line between real life and fantasy becomes even more blurred. What really drove this movie was the likeability of McConaughey. He has a simple "nice" quality about him that makes watching him on screen enjoyable. You root for him to win against the studio. You hope that he gets the good girl, while wanting to score with the bad girl. Jenna Elfman asserted herself pretty well. Her character was a little screechy and whiney at times. She knew what she was getting into when she kissed Ed, and then she yells at him for being on camera all the time. I've never really liked Woody Harrelson as an actor, and this time was no different. I can't explain what it is about him that bothers me, but there's something. The rest of the supporting cast was strong. Rob Reiner as the studio boss was the typical bad guy choosing money over people. DeGeneres was your typical "I created the monster but now I feel bad about it so stop" character. But they still managed to make the characters a little different than regular stock characters.
The action got a little choppy I felt at times, and went off on tangents every so often. If Ed was really in love with Shari, would he, on national television, go to bed with Elizabeth Hurley (yes I know what I just said but movie characters aren't supposed to be human). But it wasn't that big a deal.
So overall Edtv was an enjoyable film that wasn't spectacular. I guess solid is the word I would use. I think with Ron Howard's pedigree I was looking for something more hard hitting than this, but it was a good straight forward romantic comedy that had a slightly different setting.