Jeff Goldblum put his Hollywood actor life on hold to star alongside his new girlfriend in a Pittsburgh regional theater production of The Music Man. Co-directors Bradley and LaBrache tread... See full summary »
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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
Jeff Goldblum put his Hollywood actor life on hold to star alongside his new girlfriend in a Pittsburgh regional theater production of The Music Man. Co-directors Bradley and LaBrache tread a surprisingly elegant line between genuine documentary and outright self-parody improv in this deliciously deadpan comedy Written by
Felt like it didn't go "all the way" with the mockumentary
Played VERY tightly to reality,with not a single "cast" member playing anything besides themselves,this wryly intended parody of show business is played like a mockumentary,and while I certainly wasn't completely turned-off by it(Jeff Goldblum is so likable playing nearly anything that in playing himself as a subtle mocking of himself,he's actually EVEN MORE engaging than usual),I still felt like this show seemed to be so dry and minimalist that it lacks much in the way of "meat" and siphons away from the comedy.
Because of his romance with a fellow actress Catherine Wreford,and her need of a work visa to stay working the stage in the United States(she's from Canada),Mr.Goldblum interrupts his film career to take part in a civic theater production of "The Music Man" back in his home town of Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania. Along the way,with plenty of skeptical outsiders(ranging from his oft-ignored agent to Conan O'Brien and Craig Kilborn),and his own personal doubts about the wisdom of going from reliable big screen presence to local theater,even for just a two-week limited engagement. Along the way,he manages to swing a co-starring support for the show from good friends Illeana Douglass and Ed Begley Jr.(who in turn enlists,quid pro quo,Jeff to help him do infomercials for his own patented environmentally friendly gadgets)and seems to re-connect with his old stomping grounds,though one doubts it'll be of any really lasting impression or emotional depth. Directors Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBranch don't seem to be sure if they are going for a Christopher Guest-like mockumentary(which,by using all players as themselves would suggest they weren't)or more of a meta-mocking of the biz(which they seem to not have the heart to really do by show's end),therefore making this film at best a mild curiosity with some laughs and at worst a sort of Luke-warm "inside" comedy that is going to leave plenty of viewers bored and/or displeased,even angry.
A rental curiosity really. The quick run of the show and the generally light treatment here make this not a total waste. One might be better served to not expect too much of it,though.
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