Pittsburgh

"Excellent"

Pittsburgh Review


Singularly unique, Pittsburgh is one of the more enjoyable motion pictures I've come across in recent months. Apparently dumped to DVD (with a preview on Starz Cinema) without a theatrical run, the film is part documentary, part mockumentary, part improv comedy. The film has no screenwriting credit, but it does tell a story of sorts, involving Jeff Goldblum (as himself, as is everyone here) returning to his hometown of Pittsburgh for a two-week run of The Music Man, in which he will play the lead. This amuses, excites, and perplexes various people in his life.

Goldblum did indeed star in The Music Man in Pittsburgh, and he did go on late night TV with Conan and Kilborn to promote it. I presume he really is friends with Illieana Douglas and Ed Begley Jr., but I'm less clear if he's really wooing a girl in need of a green card and whether Moby's obsessed with amateur porn. Pittsburgh lives in a relatively thick line between reality and fantasy, but it never ceases to be funny.

The film is structured in tightly-edited snippets, so much so that when I first started watching it I thought it might be a preview for the full feature instead of the actual movie. After some initial disorientation, this works. It's kind of like watching YouTube.

That probably has a lot to do with the film being so exceptionally funny. Begley spends most of his screen time working to get Goldblum to endorse his portable solar generator, while Goldblum's agent, never seen on camera, phones constantly to try to get him to sign on to a Michael Bay project on cloning, a "really hot topic right now," and give up the stage show bit. Some of the tidbits don't work; too much of the film is driven by chance encounters with other celebrities who don't add much to the production, as they obviously don't have the deep improv skills of some of the other actors here. But again the structure works to Pittsburgh's advantage: It's just a few minutes before we're on to something new.

Quirky to a fault, this is definitely a DVD worthy of a Saturday night rental.

Extras include substantial deleted scenes, with commentary.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th December 1942

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chris Bradley, Kyle LaBrache

Producer: Patrick Bradley, Bernard Cahill, , Ryan Magnussen

Starring: as Himself, as Himself, as Herself, as Herself, as Hinself, as Herself, as Himself

Also starring: ,

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