American Splendor (2003)
Critic Consensus: Exhilarating both stylistically and for its entertaining, moving portrayal of an everyman, American Splendor is a portrait of a true underground original.
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|Rating:||R (for language)|
|Genre:||Drama, Art House & International, Comedy|
|Directed By:||Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman|
|Written By:||Harvey Pekar, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini|
|In Theaters:||Aug 15, 2003 Wide|
|On DVD:||Feb 3, 2004|
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as Harvey Pekar
as Joyce Brabner
as Toby Radloff
as Robert Crumb
as Mr. Boats
as Real Harvey
as Real Joyce
as Real Danielle
as Real Toby
as Stage Actor Harvey
as Stage Actor Joyce
as Green Lantern
as Young Harvey
as Throat Doctor
as Old Jewish Lady
as Mattress Guy No. 1
as Mattress Guy No. 2
as WW II Patient
as Bob the Director
as Counter Girl
as Alice Quinn
as Cheery Waitress
as Stage Manager
as Letterman Regular
as MTV Director
as Talk Show Host
as PA No. 1
as Cancer Doctor
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Critic Reviews for American Splendor
I can't imagine how the filmmakers went about it, let alone pulled the whole thing off, but their film comes together in unpredictable and remarkably pleasurable ways.
The rare artist biopic that goes beyond the dull march of events and actually illuminates the creative process.
A glorious rebuke to all this summer's recycled, effects-ridden, laboriously "fun" Hollywood disappointments piled along the wayside like so many crashed cars.
We're constantly kept on our toes regarding issues of representation while Pekar's sour but indefatigible working-class skepticism carries us along.
Audience Reviews for American Splendor
Harvey Pekar is the only person who could have a bio-pic like this. Melding together documentary filmmaking and narrative filmmaking, the director team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini bring Pekar to life, but also engaged Pekar. Through interviews with him and his wife, Joyce, we learn about the reality of his scourges, how he's still working for the same company, how much he loves his friends, his family, how he was treated by the Letterman show, and how he feels about comics, life, and love. Pekar is fascinating, while also being mundane, and that's also the rarity and greatness of "American Splendor" as a comic. Giamatti gives a top notch performance as the formidable curmudgeon, and Hope Davis is equally interesting as his anachronistic wife. This film has the right style, perspective, and humor, when dealing with the real life of one of America's best and most underappreciated graphic novel authors. It may not be for everyone's taste, because it is highly stylized, but it seems to fit with the less than glamorous life of Pekar, and that's only fitting.
'American Splendor'. What a brilliantly ambitious film, with its merging of documentary and adapted comic screenplay! Surely up there with the best comic book to film adaptations of all time.
Harvey Pekar is a wonderfully rich character, and I kept watching it thinking of him as a blend of Art Spiegelman and Larry David; Paul Giamatti is perfectly cast.
Its awesome, fun, and charming. Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff. This film exploits that and creates a truly original film.
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