Brief summary: Johnny Rizzo is a passionate late-night sports radio talk show host in his mid-twenties from Oakland, CA. His girlfriend/fiancee is impatient, shallow, and annoying, and could care less about his dreams or passion. His fiancee convinces Johnny to change his career entirely and take a job working for a NYC-based cardboard-box-manufacturing company, so he could finally begin to make a good living. While in NYC, he connects with his uncle Terry (who’s a bit of a womanizer, and a douchebag). Terry can’t understand why Johnny would even consider abandoning the job he loves, just to please his fiancee, so Terry tries to set Johnny up on a blind date with a gorgeous, laid-back emerging tennis star named Brooke. Johnny of course, won’t have any part of it, as he is completely loyal to his girl. While in New York, Johnny has a bit of an identity crisis, and tries to break up the fight between his logical thoughts and his innermost desires.
As common with Edward Burns films, Nice Guy Johnny is a heartfelt, realistic character study. Edward Burns (my personal indie film hero, next to Hal Hartley, who is my indie film GOD), made this film for less than $25,000 and it seems like a much higher-budget film…. due to the acting, cinematography, music score, etc. If you have ever been passionate about anything in your life, and had people constantly fight you along the way (whether saying something like “get a real job” or “grow up” or anything similar), definitely watch this completely underrated film. Hats off to Edward Burns, for always delivering the real, when it comes to independent movies. I fuckin’ love his stuff, and so should you.