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A regular guy allows a cable network to film his every moment (well, almost), live for public consumption. Think of MTV's The Real World without the editing or the commercial interruptions nor the ignorance that a camera's there. Mathew McConaughwhatsis(HEY!), Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Sally Kirkland, Martin Landau, Dennis Hopper, and Ellen DeGeneres all have great performances here. Some very strong moments filled with "honesty" and humor make for a great story that doesn't dig too deep, which is why it's three thumbs instead of four.
This film is a bit shallow on self-examination, and as such, there are several minor flaws in the story. It's obvious, to me, that the motives of the gold-digging Elizabeth Hurley are what they appear to be, except to the people in this movie. There's some self-referential stuff, but it's a bit shallow. The strong story drives this movie to it's inevitable conclusion. Definitely a few things in here that involve you in the "rubberneckers at an accident" style that a show like this would have.
Woody's great as Ed's Brother, mostly by playing himself. Martin Landau's great, too. And, most of all, they tried really hard to make Jenna Elfman look like an average, ordinary person, but that failed, fortunately.
There are a few things here that demonstrate that Ron Howard spent some time researching how to play the movie out. For example, How do they show commercials if Ed's on 24x7? Dealt with, in a very subtle manner (watch the TVs in the "audience's" homes. Do they show him going to the bathroom? I won't say, but they do handle it, properly. I'm somewhat surprised how they avoid going too deep, when it seems the right thing to do.