|Nice Guy Johnny|
|Directed by||Edward Burns|
|Written by||Edward Burns|
|Music by||P.T. Walkley|
|Cinematography||William Rexer II|
|Edited by||Janet Gaynor|
|Distributed by||Marlboro Road Gang Productions|
Johnny Rizzo, a young man who dreams of working in radio, is engaged to Claire. When Claire demands that he pursue a more realistic goal than following his dreams, Johnny's uncle Terry attempts to tempt him away from the relationship with a decadent party. Johnny resists his uncle's hedonistic lifestyle but meets a free-spirited woman named Brooke, whom he quickly befriends. Alarmed by the direction Johnny's life is taking, Brooke encourages him to pursue his dreams and avoid selling out. When a misunderstanding causes Claire to incorrectly believe that Johnny has been cheating on her with Brooke, Johnny and Claire break up. Now free to pursue a romance, Johnny and Brooke begin dating.
Burns based the film on his own experiences as an independent filmmaker when offered a choice between following his dreams and working for a major studio. After his previous film, Purple Violets, did not perform as hoped, Burns took the opportunity to re-educate himself on screenwriting. He recalled, "I recognized after my film Purple Violets that I had gotten away from respecting traditional storytelling structure. I thought I knew it, but I stopped outlining and stopped thinking about audiences' expectations. After that film I thought that I needed to go back and re-educate myself. So I went back and read a ton of books on Hollywood screenwriting and story structure. A lot of it I found very helpful and a lot of it I didn't, but I know going back and having respect for structure helped me enormously as a screenwriter." Knowing that Nice Guy Johnny would be a microbudget film (as were his following films, Newlyweds and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas), while writing the script Burns concentrated on how he could keep the cost of the film down. " With all three of those movies I would write down the list of locations that I knew I could get for free. I knew I would be writing more daytime exterior scenes than nighttime scenes just because of the cost of lighting and how time consuming and difficult shooting at night is with a micro-budget. I also knew I would be writing away from any scenes that would require a lot of extras. With those parameters I wrote the scripts. It was a different discipline."
Nice Guy Johnny was released on DVD in the United States on April 23, 2010.
Dan Heaton of PopMatters rated it 5/10 stars and wrote, "This good-natured story needs more fiery drama and conflict to make its resolution inspiring." Jason Bailey of DVD Talk rated it 2/5 stars and praised Bishé's performance but called the film "not terribly funny and not really dramatic". Patrick Bromley of DVD Verdict also wrote a mixed review while praising Bishé. Bromley concluded, "I wish I could speak more highly of Nice Guy Johnny, but the audience for Burns' films seems to be shrinking thanks to outings like this one. It inspires mostly indifference."