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Saturday, November 1, 2008

PITTSBURGH (2006)

This modest charmer stars that Frog Prince of movie stars, Jeff Goldblum, & a host of character actors all playing themselves. Goldblum needs a plan to keep his 20-something Canadian girlfriend in the States. Should he marry her or co-star in a stock production of THE MUSIC MAN? This eccentric idea sounds like a set-up for one of those Christopher Guest docu-style satires, but the tone is far gentler; Goldblum, on what was obviously a pet project, never pushes the characterizations or the concept toward cheap laughs at anyone’s expense. Unfortunately, the direction is routine t.v. stuff, the storylines peter out & Goldblum has zero screen rapport with his (real life?) girlfriend. Still, the whole idea of Goldblum as Professor Harold Hill is goofy enough to hold our attention. (If only we got to see a complete staged number.) Listen to his closed-mouth, jazz-inflected read-thru of ‘Gary, Indiana’ with Moby & Illeana Douglas to hear the possibilities. Harold Hill goes chill.

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