Unreal reality, From Berkeley to Pittsburgh, Gabbaland doings,

Unreal reality

Mike Fleiss, the creator/producer of “The Bachelor,” is a cousin of Heidi Fleiss, the notorious Hollywood madam. While he employs Heidi’s brother, he said he wouldn’t put Heidi in a reality series because she is just too unstable.

The so-called Octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, is already, in effect, the star of her own paid reality show featuring herself and her 14 kids, all under the age of 8. As this item goes to press, Jewish lawyer Gloria Allred, 67, may have lucked out and dodged being linked with the type of “really crazy stuff” that Mike Fleiss talked about. (Allred’s daughter, truTV host Lisa Bloom, 47, has been busy talking about Suleman on CNN).

Allred represents the charity group Angels in Waiting, which got mucho publicity by offering free nursing care for Suleman’s kids. The offer was later reduced to free training for nannies supplied by Angels, but paid by Suleman. The Octo-mom accepted the help, but then threw the nannies out, claiming they were “spying on her.” (Suleman could pay the nannies and buy a $600,000 house because she has been cleaning up via paid interviews with Radar Online, owned by the same company that owns the National Enquirer.)

So far Suleman’s bizarre behavior has just stoked media attention, and Dr. Phil and others have been glad to have her on their shows. Still, as Mike Fleiss recognized, when you deal with the “really crazy” you might get burned.

 

From Berkeley to ‘Pittsburgh’

Opening Friday, April 3, is the film “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh,” from the novel by Berkeley author Michael Chabon (who didn’t work on the film). The central character of the novel and film is Art Bechstein (Jon Foster), the son of a high-level gangster (Nick Nolte). In the novel, the Bechsteins are identified as Jewish. The movie has no reference to them being Jewish or belonging to any specific ethnic group or religion.

As the film begins, Art has just finished college in Pittsburgh and he is enjoying his last summer of “freedom” before he goes to work as a stockbroker in a job his father has arranged. While working at a bookstore, he has an affair with his boss (Mena Suvari). Then he meets two “free spirits” — a beautiful young violinist (Siena Miller) and her intelligent and often very charming boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard). The boyfriend likes to live on the edge, running up big gambling debts and working for the mob. Art ultimately falls in love with both of them.

Foster, 24, is a good-looking guy and the younger brother of actor Ben Foster (“Six Feet Under”). I’ve seen the film and I think one could describe Jon Foster’s performance as understandably understated. He’s playing a guy who is emotionally damaged and, in response, puts a lid on being “open.” Still, I wonder how Sarsgaard would have played Foster’s role. He is a great actor who brings out all the nuances in his character. (As does Nolte, in his limited screen time.) Saarsgard, by the way, has been the romantic partner of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal for about five years, and they have a child together.

“Mysteries” has enough first-rate acting and good scenes that it is worth seeing — even though it isn’t a great or even very good film.

 

Gabbaland doings

The Nick Jr. cable children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba!” will feature Jack Black, 39, as a guest star in a special episode premiering Friday, April 3 at 1:30 p.m. “Yo Gabba Gabba!” is a live-action music series for preschoolers. In the show, Black rides into “Gabbaland” on his mini bike and runs out of gas. Lost and scared, Black meets each of the Gabba characters, who become his friends and refuel his mini bike so he can go home. (Check listings for rerun schedule.)

Columnist  Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at middleoftheroad1@aol.com.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.