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Ed (McConaughey) is a big-grinned lunk, overshadowed by his loud brother (Harrelson). But when Ed's chosen to star on a 'live' 24-hour TV soap, he's faced with a new problem: as the centre of attention, he loses all control. Shadowy media figures will do anything to increase ratings, and his bids for freedom only increase the viewers' oppressive interest. Forever doomed to be mentioned in the same breath as The Truman Show, what this most obviously lacks is the cruel suspicion at the heart of Weir's comedy that it's the hero, not the world, who has the problem; that his revelations about 'being watched' may well be the result of paranoid meltdown. Ed never doubts himself to the same extent and thus our emotions aren't quite as engaged. On the plus side, there's Ed's bristling, white trash family (Hopper makes a great appearance as his long lost dad). Even better, we have crunchy, plausible Elfman as the love interest whom audiences initially warm to, then reject a few weeks down the line. Unfortunately, this isn't pushed far enough. Having wined and one-lined us on Simpsons-style savvy, the film turns a touch hypocritical.

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ron Howard
Screenwriter: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Cast: Matthew McConaughey
Jenna Elfman
Woody Harrelson
Sally Kirkland
Martin Landau
Ellen DeGeneres
Rob Reiner
Dennis Hopper
Elizabeth Hurley
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