Sure, she can be a little overbearing sometimes, but baby-faced Johnny Rizzo loves his fiancée Claire, and he made her a promise: by the time he's 25-years-old, he'll trade his current dream job as a local sports talk radio host (even if it is the 2 a.m. slot) for something that'll pay bigger bucks. And Johnny's nothing, if not a man of his word.
Now he's flying to New York to interview for some snoozeville job that Claire's well-to-do father set up. Enter Uncle Terry, who lives in New York, a rascally womanizer bent on turning a day in the Hamptons into a final fling for his nephew. Nice guy Johnny's not interested, of course, but then he meets the lovely Brooke….
A master of the modern relationship dramedy, Edward Burns is once again in top form as a writer, director, and actor. His swaggering bartender Terry is the perfect foil to baby-faced Matt Bush's (Adventureland) Johnny, and together they're great at trading Burns' characteristically sharp dialogue. More contrasts are mined with Anna Wood's image-conscious Claire and Kerry Bische's (Scrubs) Brooke, a blonde-haired and bright-eyed free spirit. Burns wraps a summery tone around Johnny's real crisis: follow through with your promises, or follow your heart?
More often than not, pursuing your dream can be heartbreaking, demoralizing, frustrating, and almost always financially reckless. I know writers, actors, musicians, photographers, directors, and artists who have and continue to struggle with the question: Do I continue to follow my dream, or do I give up and find a job that pays the bills? Most everyone who works in the film business faces this question. In fact, I too was recently forced to ask myself whether or not I continue to make personal films or take a job as a director-for-hire.
My answer: Nice Guy Johnny. In the film, our hero, Johnny Rizzo (Matt Bush) faces this same dilemma. When he is asked to give up his dream of becoming a sports broadcaster for a better paying job, he caves into the pressure. The weekend leading up to his new job interview is reluctantly spent in the Hamptons with his obnoxious Uncle Terry (yours truly), who introduces him to the beautiful, free-spirited, Brooke (Kerry Bishe´), who challenges Johnny to rethink his decision, and quite possibly the course of his life. For Johnny, or anyone who is chasing a dream, the cost may be high… but so is the reward.
Lauded by critics and audiences alike, Burns gained international recognition for his first feature THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, which premiered in competition at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury prize. The film, which Burns wrote, directed and starred in, was shot on a budget of only $25,000 and went on to gross over $10 million at the domestic box office, making it the most profitable film of 1995. The film also won "Best First Feature" at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards.
Burns' second film, the romantic comedy SHE'S THE ONE starring Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, reinforced Burns' versatile talent as a writer, director, and actor able to simultaneously and successfully wear multiple hats.
Burns continues to write, direct, star in and produce his films, including the Paramount Classics relationship comedy SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK and more recently PURPLE VIOLETS, which also starred Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. In a groundbreaking deal, Purple Violets was the first feature film to premiere exclusively on iTunes.
His 9th feature film as a writer, director and actor is the character comedy NICE GUY JOHNNY, which will have its premier at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Burns has been involved with TFF since the festival's inception in 2002. This will be his 5th film in the festival.
As an actor, Burns starred opposite Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed World War II epic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. He also starred in the thriller 15 MINUTES opposite Robert De Niro, CONFIDENCE opposite Dustin Hoffman, and most recently the 20th Century Fox romantic comedy hit 27 DRESSES opposite Katherine Heigl.
Ed Burns was born in Woodside, Queens and raised on Long Island. While at Hunter College in New York City, Burns switched his focus from English to filmmaking before quickly moving on to make The Brothers McMullen. When the film won the Grand Jury Prize at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, Redford was so impressed with Burns' talents that he served as executive producer on both She's The One and No Looking Back.
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