Ed Burns' Independent 2010 Film, Nice Guy Johnny


This was the official website forEd Burns' independent 2010 Nice Guy Johnny. You were able to purchase a DVD & CD Package, a Digital Download, and / or a T-Shirt Package from this site.
The content below is from the site's 2010 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.

wgbh.org article
Nice Guy Johnny‘s being released simultaneously on iTunes, VOD and DVD October 26, 2010.

Ed Burns is a filmmaker and an actor, often most recoginized as a co-star to the likes of Robert DeNiro and Tom Hanks in major Hollywood pictures like Saving Private Ryan. But like his hero Woody Allen, what sustains Burns is making his own small, personal films that have built up a dedicated following among indie film fans. In 1995, he attracted major buzz when his first feature, The Brothers McMullen, won at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win over audiences hungry to watch Burns' kind of personal storytelling in their local theaters.

This after some personal life altering events that almost lead to a career as a manager of a service business in New York. In the early 90's, when he needed money, he met a very successful investor who had just acquired a service offering rug cleaning in NYC, who offered him a decent salary and an ownership stake in the business if he would agree to manage the business for the next couple of years. This job paid for several of his small personal films, and even though the rug cleaning business required a significant time commitment, he considered staying on - until he serendipitously met his hero, Woody Allen at his apartment - a result of a rug cleaning gig. That conversation convinced him to drop everything and focus on what he loved, rather than pursue steady work in a career for which he felt was stifling.

The success of The Brothers McMullen was both a professional and personal triumph for Burns, especially given that he financed the $25,000 production budget on his own. After 15 years of making movies, Burns finds himself in an industry landscape much less friendly to independent films. Which left Burns to ask himself, 'where do I want to go next?'
I wanted to go back to what I was doing, and where my head was, pre-McMullen. I had no money. I didn’t know anybody in the film business. I didn’t know how to make a film. So, I thought, let’s set some parameters and go back and do that thing again.
“That thing,” now has a name.  It’s called, Nice Guy Johnny, and it’s Burns’s latest film. The parameters were simple: Don’t spend more than $25,000.  Don’t shoot more than 12 days. Don’t shoot with any more than a 3-man crew. Don’t hire any stars. Oh, and most importantly, don’t give it to the theaters—any of them.

“We’re trying a new way to get these smaller, specialized films out to the audiences—because the biggest complaint I’ve always heard from fans of my movies is that they don’t live anywhere near an art-house theater, and the films never get to them.”
So, when Nice Guy Johnny debuts on Tuesday, Oct 26th, you can enjoy it in the privacy of your own living room. Or, say, on your iPhone wherever you like. That’s because Nice Guy Johnny will only be available on-demand, online and on DVD.
“The fact that we can stream movies on Netflix, Comcast, and iTunes or even YouTube or Facebook—all these things didn’t exist when I got into the business.  So we’ve been trying to figure out how do we fight for attention?”
Burns’s answer: Tell a good story. “The movie’s about Johnny, a sports radio talkshow host out in Oakland.  It’s his dream job, it’s all he really wants to do.”

Burns explained he wrote the film in response to a crossroads he faced in his own career, when his agents were pressuring him to stop with the smaller, personal films. Many in the industry were urging Burn to finally direct a big-budget romantic comedy,
What did Ed learn? That following your dream doesn’t mean a life without compromise -- it means a life where you choose which comprises to make.
Nice Guy Johnny, premieres on-demand, online, and on DVD on Tuesday, Oct 26th.



A man determined to right suddenly isn't sure what the right thing should be in this independent comedy-drama. One of the few things Johnny Rizzo (Matt Bush) loves as much as his job as a host on a sports-talk radio station is his longtime fiancée Claire (Anna Wood), who is gently but firmly persuading him to find a more responsible career. Johnny's show is currently airing at 2 a.m. and doesn't pay very well, and as much as he enjoys it, he decides to make good on a promise he made to Claire that if he wasn't making at least $50,000 a year by the time he turned 25, he'd take a job with her wealthy father's box making company. As Johnny heads to the Hamptons to meet with Claire's dad, he ends up staying with his Uncle Terry (Edward Burns), a chronic womanizer determined to show Johnny a good time whether he likes it or not. Loyal Johnny isn't interested in any of the gals Terry throws his way, but when he meets Brooke (Kerry Bishe), a beautiful woman who is giving tennis lessons to Terry's (married) girlfriend, for the first time in years he finds himself infatuated with someone else. Johnny is thrown for a loop when Brooke tells him the last thing he should do is give up his job for Claire. Written and directed by Edward Burns (who cast himself as Uncle Terry), Nice Guy Johnny received its world premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Rating: NR
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Edward Burns
Written By: Edward Burns
On DVD:  Oct 26, 2010
Runtime: 89 minutes
Studio: Film Buff




 Super Reviewer
Cynthia S **** December 30, 2010
I love Ed Burns, and I love what he can do for a movie...his touch is really something special. Everyone has that person in their life that teaches them to be true to themselves, and this movie covers that subject well. A very touching, romantic film. I enjoyed it.

Slappy M **** December 29, 2010
An independent little film that is a great watch. Very endearing characters with a lot of heart. Loved this little movie
Paul O *** ½ December 28, 2010
The title tells the hole movie, great main character.

Deb K *** December 28, 2010
A movie about a 25 year old who has to decide whether he wants to follow his heart. Or take a job where he can make a decent living, at the cost of giving up his dream job as a radio broadcaster. The movie was predictable and just average for me.

JJ L **** December 27, 2010
ed burns needs to stick to writing his own stuff. it's just too good not to. great coming of age film that illustrates what money grubbing dream killers chicks are....perfectly. funny what happens when people actually live their lives to make themselves happy versus those around them.

Nick K ***** December 23, 2010
I 150% loved this movie!
Christopher O **** December 21, 2010
san francisco beckons...

Joel M December 18, 2010
I am a member of the "Team Edward" team (not the one you are thinking). I am referring to those that have always thought that Writer-Director Edward Burns is one of the most talented independent movie filmmakers of our generation. I know that "Team Edward" lacks membership; due to the fact that many critics and filmgoers have not been nice guys and girls to Burns by ridiculing his movies of the last decade. However, I still think Burns is tops when it comes to creating relatable characters going through emotional and romantic turmoil, and using the city of New York as an effective backdrop. Burns' screenplays speak the words of what real people say when they go through trials & tribulations with lovers, family, and friends. In his latest flick "Nice Guy Johnny", Burns still contributes the equivalent witty dialogue of his past independent movies, but the film's premise falls a little short on sheer entertainment value. Matt Bush stars as Johnny, an amateurish sports talk radio host in Oakland who is pressured by his nagging fiancà (C) to go to New York to interview for a cardboard company administrative position against his wishes. Johnny's dream is to excel in the sports radio arts even though his fiancà (C)e Claire is not too clairvoyant by not supporting him on his career goals. Johnny does not make the cash flow that Claire is insisting on so therefore she literally ships Johnny to New York to interview for the cardboard position that was hooked up by Claire's domineering father.

Johnny, who is originally from New York, gets to visit his parents in the Hamptons in his New York visit; and also meets up with his chauvinistic easy-going Uncle Terry. Terry, played by Burns, is the antithesis of Johnny. He is a womanizing, selfish, and manipulative lothario who has plenty of married female sexual partners who he uses to not only fulfill his sexual craving, but to also borrow their cars & homes at his "free-will". Johnny is initially reluctant to hang with Uncle Terry during his New York stay, but eventually decides to join Terry in a drive to the Hamptons. During their Hamptons stop, Terry introduces Johnny to Brooke; the tennis instructor of one of Terry's married female conquests. Brooke's beauty and bohemian ways attracts Johnny to her, even though he is set on his ways on being faithful to Claire. Will Johnny cheat on Claire? Will Brooke break the faithful tide? Is the cardboard job in the cards for Johnny? Well, you got to spend some time with "Nice Guy Johnny" to find that out. The premise of the movie is not too uncommon in film narratives of the romantic-comedy genre: a controlled dude in a relationship pressured by a self-centered female to bring home the bacon or else she will bail. But the premise is not the nice part of "Nice Guy Johnny"; it is Burns' genuine screenplay that plays a nice part to the story. Even though Burns has played the same scheming character in a few of his past flicks, I still think he was very good in his performance as Uncle Terry. Matt Bush overacted at times with his mediocre starring performance as Johnny, and Kerry Bishe was not OK with her monotone mode in her portrayal of Brooke. It is not one of Burns' best, but "Nice Guy Johnny" is nice enough to check out.
**** Good

Justin and Denise S **** December 6, 2010
Edward Burns' films are a refreshing reminder that movies can be simple and still be quite good. And you don't need a huge budget to tell a story (this movie's budget was only $25,000).

Donna L **** December 1, 2010
This film tells the story of johnny, a dj who loves his job, but has a fiancee that wants the luxuarys in life and is trying to get johnny to take a new job in a factory just because its a little extra money.. so as he loves her he goes to new york to go to the interview and the weekend before the interview he spends time with his player uncle who beds a lot of women
gets "set up" with his uncles floose' tennis coach, things develop and johnny realises he doesn't wanna quit his job just to keep his controling fiancee happy... you'll have to find out the rest!! A sweet film :) x

tom j. **** ½ November 23, 2010
I guess that if you know Eddie Burns, you could say this movie is predictable because Eddie is a nice guy and likes nice endings to his movies. BUT...this script could have gone in a different direction, taken a cheap alternative route, and it didn't. Matt Bush's performance as a "painfully nice guy" is superb. Perhaps not the intensity of Gary Cooper as the "painfully" troubled captain in "The Wreck of the Mary Deare"...but what the hell, could Mr. Cooper have pulled this role off at age 24. Good job Mr. Burns.

 Super Reviewer
Jeff T ***½ November 21, 2010
Sweet, unimposing little film from Edward Burns. You know, Edward Burns? THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN? That spiky little made-it-for-$25,000-on-credit-cards film that jump-started the independent film era in the 90's? Now he's shooting direct-release movies on digital for his love of the format, not for big studio bucks, and though the results don't break any sound barriers, it's nice to have him back. NICE GUY JOHNNY is about a nice guy named... well, you guessed it. 25 and about to be married, he goes to visit his ne'er-do-well uncle who tries to get him to consider some other alternatives before settling down in a dull job with the girl he's been with for years. Can you guess what happens? You might be able to. But Matt Bush as Johnny is so fresh and appealing, and the whole film is so engaging, that it's unoriginality is almost what makes it original. Direct, straightforward and unblinkingly sweet, this is a nice little watched-it-right-on-my-couch night at home.


Interview from Tribeca
Director Edward Burns discusses Nice Guy Johnny at the Tribeca Film Festival.


Faces of the Festival: Edward Burns

By Kristin McCracken

Nice Guy Johnny, the new film from Edward Burns, will kick off the Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, with founding partner American Express®, on April 23.< Hear from one of Tribeca's favorite filmmakers!

Tell us a little about the story of Nice Guy Johnny. How did it come about?
Edward Burns: I've always been intrigued by the stories of people who pursue their dreams and what it costs them. Nice Guy Johnnyis about a young sports radio talk show host who has a problem; he's nice to a fault. Therefore, he's allowed his fiancée and his parents to convince him to give up his dream of becoming a sports broadcaster. After he arrives in New York City for his corporate job interview, he's quickly persuaded by his uncle to spend a weekend partying in the Hamptons. Over the course of that weekend, Johnny meets Brooke, the woman who convinces him not to give up his dream, even if it will cost him his fiancée.
What makes Nice Guy Johnny a Tribeca must-see?

Edward Burns: This is a movie about the cost of being asked to give up your dream. Two years ago, I walked out of a meeting with my agents who strongly encouraged me to put myself up as a director for hire. While there's nothing wrong with that, I didn't spend my entire adult life fighting to become a filmmaker with a personal voice to abandon that for what might be higher paying but less rewarding work. I walked out of the meeting and thought, "I need to write a script about how tough it is to make that choice." When, if ever, should you abandon your dreams? Nice Guy Johnny is a look at that struggle.

The city is always such a character in your films. What's your favorite thing about filming on the streets of New York?

New York City is the greatest co-star an actor could ever have. Depending on your story and what you're looking for, New York has it. In addition to great locations and a pool of great actors, they also have the best crews a filmmaker could ask for.

What's the craziest thing that happened while making the film?

This was one of those cases where the movie gods were on our side. We were scheduled to shoot for a week in the Hamptons and the forecast called for rain every day. As fate would have it, we got nothing but sunshine. As soon as we wrapped, thunderclouds would roll in but by the start of the next shooting day, it was nothing but blue skies.

Do you prefer acting or directing?

Directing, by far. I lay in bed at night not thinking about the roles I'd like to play, but instead the stories I want to tell.

If you could have dinner with any filmmaker (alive or dead), who would you want it to be?

Woody Allen.

What piece of art (film/book/music/what-have-you) do you recommend to your friends?

I've turned many people on to Pat Conroy's My Losing Season.

What would your biopic be called?

"Steady Eddie"

You are a Tribeca veteran, and we are delighted you are kicking off the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival Virtual. Any shout-outs for first-time TFF-goers joining us from across the country?

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Nice Guy Johnny will kick off the Tribeca Film Festival Virtual on April 23. Join us!
TFF Virtual premium pass on sale now!


March 04, 2010 02:20 PM

Sirtony said:

I understand this subject well...I couldn't agree more..Ed Burns is a Pioneer Filmmaker...from the beginning he has followed his souls passion...it would be great to work together some day... Here is a FILM FESTIVAL UPDATE SITE for my Film... THE FILMMAKER Dead or Alive http://www.TheFilmmaker.me I submitted it to the Festival hopefully it will be seen...in Tribeca... Sincerely, Michael Savage aka Sirtony

March 05, 2010 10:25 AM

Shell said:

Ed Burns
Have been an avid fan of ed Burns since 1996. Love LOVE LOVE his work! He is simply awesome!

March 05, 2010 10:26 AM

Shell said:

Ed Burns
Have been an avid fan of ed Burns since 1996. Love LOVE LOVE his work! He is simply awesome!

March 05, 2010 10:26 AM

Shell said:

Ed Burns
Have been an avid fan of ed Burns since 1996. Love LOVE LOVE his work! He is simply awesome!

March 07, 2010 04:10 PM

jude balaguer said:

Edward Burns what's not to love!
I've seen a couple of ed's film. How I know they'er great? Cause they make me cry.and get all emotional. Love his work it comes from the heart.

March 28, 2010 02:49 PM

White Sox Fan said:

His films are great
I really hope this film make it to Chicago @ one point. I remember seeing the Brothers McMullen in '95 when I was 18 and have been a huge fan of all of his films(except Ash Wednesday) ever since,

April 01, 2010 05:12 AM

Edward said:

Ed Burns films are something special. They are about people and focus on the story. No special effects or 3d or anything like that. Its about emotion and real filmmaking. I will be sure to see his latest piece of work.

August 18, 2010 07:17 PM

roger rogers said:

the actor
isn't that the guy from the phone commercial ? the mom always saving the roll-over minutes. LOL