“…[I]ndie films are made by dreamers and it is often the most financially irresponsible path you can take. But it has been my experience, that at the end of the day, if you go for it, the reward can be huge. And I don’t mean monetarily. There is nothing greater than doing what you love. And that is its own reward.“
Introduction, “Doing What You Love”, Nice Guy Johnny, Edward Burns
I’ve been a fan of Edward Burns and his independent films since I saw The Brothers McMullen years ago. I’m an Irish Catholic with a family from New York so his movies are dear to my heart. I’m also partial to independent publishing endeavors and the spirit with which they are created, so when I heard that Burns made his new movie, Nice Guy Johnny, for a total budget of $25,000 I knew I wanted to see it. After reading the screenplay and watching the film, I was not disappointed.
The film was shot with five crew members, in ten days, on location, with first time actors who did their own hair and make up, and provided their own wardrobes. Burns wrote, directed, and acted in it, playing the morally bankrupt, highly amusing Uncle Terry–the foil for his lead, the nice-to-a-fault Johnny.
In the beginning, Johnny (played by Matt Bush) is in a job he loves, working the graveyard shift as a sports broadcaster on a local radio station. He’s about to give it all up for his fiancee, however, who he promised he’d get a “real” job in order to support them. The movie follows him over the course of a weekend while he decides whether or not to stay true to himself or fulfill the roll his parents and fiancee want for him.
The movie has a very Graduate-esque feel, but with more innocence and charm. PT Walkley’s soundtrack is the perfect background for it, and I enjoyed the actors and the humor. I especially enjoyed that it was an independent venture.
I recommend that you check it out.