Directors: Chris Bradley & Kyle LaBrache
Local boy makes good. Naturally, it helps when that local boy is Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic Park star Goldblum, who made his stuttering quirky persona irresistible long before Hugh Grant did the same thing on the other side of the pond and made it fashionable, seems to be an unlikely choice for a lead role in a theatrical production of The Music Man. Nonetheless, Goldblum did take a break from film acting to return to his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to play the part and later, Goldblum collaborated with directors Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBrache on this mockumentary that walks a nearly invisible line between fiction and nonfiction as we watch Goldblum (as himself) take a role to help his leading lady, twenty-three year old Canadian fiancé (Catherine Wreford) get a work visa to stay in the United States. Going against the advice of his agent and being kicked to “second guest” on Conan after he plugged his regional theatre turn on The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Goldblum enlists the help of good friends Ed Begley Jr. and Illeana Douglas who decide to perform in the show as well. In addition, people who own any of Moby’s CDs will definitely want to check out his creepy cameo as Illeana’s lecherous boyfriend who dumps her while in a mermaid parade so that he can shag fans on tour. Hilarious and eye-opening—the film which was the Spotlight Premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, has received numerous comparisons to the work of Christopher Guest and while fans of his movies will no doubt be at home here, Pittsburgh plays even better to the film buff crowd. Although relegated to playing on the Starz channel, Pittsburgh has been recently released on DVD and the brief film (roughly ninety minutes) is augmented by several deleted scenes featuring other stars playing (hopefully) fictitious or exaggerated versions of themselves such as Scott Caan who has a memorable scene with Goldblum while he’s getting his hair cut for the period Music Man.