American Splendor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Splendor Reviews

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November 16, 2016
Interesting true story.
June 17, 2016
In the right hands with the right touch of deft observation the ordinary can always be transfigured into the extraordinary & the dour sweetened into pithy humor.
½ April 10, 2016
Funny movie about Harvey Pekar who created a comic book based on his "every man" life, even in its dreariness and and repetitiveness.
February 29, 2016
An amalgam of quirks and awkward moments that, given the subject matter, somehow seems to work.

Giamatti is truly brilliant. Some of his best narrative, ever. Case and point: his "other Harvey Pekars in Cleveland" rant.
February 22, 2016
Stylistically complex but with a simple heart of gold, an enjoyable film with a riotous creative spirit. Funny, moving and surprisingly gripping, plus a career-best performance from Giamatti in the main role.
February 5, 2016
great flick - with a strangely moving ending
February 5, 2016
2016-02-05 not sure why it's so highly rated. pretty much of a drag until Joyce comes in.
½ November 11, 2015
Autobiography about pesimistic comic book autobiographer writer. Bitter sweet chamomile tea. Ironic.
November 7, 2015
With a lovably cantankerous sense of humor and an honest strain of hard realism and pathos, the film thrives on the tension that comes from an artist who devotes himself to the truth, but watches his image get away from him.
½ October 24, 2015
Finally a comic book movie which I can say is original and enjoyable. I didn't know about the comic American Splendor but, having seen this, I reckon I'd enjoy it. It seems to be a dark and dead-pan commentary of the life of an ordinary, but wittily observant, geezer.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2015
American Splendor is quite the postmodern film. It's an interesting take on life from the POV of a normal eccentric man. The film itself is normal eccentric, neither straightforward nor weird. Those who enjoy aspects of postmodernism such as messiness and infinite regress will likely enjoy American Splendor. And, of course, Paul Giamatti is great in it.
½ August 18, 2015
Comic book superheroes are always getting their own movies. Comic book WRITERS, however, often don't. But Harvey Pekar was no ordinary comic book writer. Just an ordinary man. And he managed to turn his ordinary existence into a beloved and treasured series of comic books called "American Splendor," which was all about life-the fun stuff, the boring stuff, and all sorts of other stuff. He is played to perfection by Paul Giamatti...even though the real Harvey Pekar says, in the movie, that "this guy doesn't look like me, but whatever." Yes. This movie not only is about Pekar, but he's featured in the film as a sort of narrator of the ongoing events. Joining him are his wife Joyce (played in the movie by the always dependable Hope Davis) and his best friend Toby Radloff (played by an unrecognizable Judah Friedlander, who steals every scene he's in, as does the real Toby when he appears alongside the real Harvey.) If Charlie Kaufman wrote a biography, I imagine it would go something like this. Whether you've never read the comics or own every one, this is a fascinating portrait of everyman who turned out to be somebody very unique and special. (The real Harvey passed away in 2010. It's a damn shame. There won't be another ordinary guy like him.)
August 16, 2015
This is a well done movie of an un well done man. It is inspiring to be your plain old boring neurotic self. It's all over acted.
August 3, 2015
Quirky and terrific with one of Giamatti's best performances to date.
½ July 31, 2015
American Splendor is dull, annoying, and overrated
½ July 22, 2015
Although enjoyable at times, American Splendor felt like two different movies, jammed into one. The first movie would be about a depressed, lonely, and average nobody deciding to spice up his life and repetitive job by writing a comic about normal people as opposed to superheroes. This shows how he slowly reaches stardom and how even so he remains an unlikable guy. This would also deal with most of the romance between Harvey and Joyce. The second film would focus on a newly famous comic-book writer who must face the darkness of cancer. How he decides to cope with this almost certainly fatal disease is by writing a comic-book about his chemotherapy process. Both of these movies, I'm sure would have been exceptional successes however put together into one film made this feature drag on with a very slow pacing leaving me slightly bored halfway through the film when one plot started to shift into the next. Also, as amazing as it was to have the real Harvey Pekar narrating and featuring in the film, it is sad to say that his voice is simply not engaging or enthusiastic making for a slow and disinteresting narration. A small scene at the end of the film featuring Pekar with a much softer and exciting narrating voice would have served this film much better. I don't want to say don't see this film because it seems my thoughts are in the minority based on the other reviews. What I will say is watch this one when you are not tired or nearing bedtime.
April 5, 2015
American Splendor is wrought with humor both meant with sympathy and sarcasm and remarkably colorful yet ordinary characters. Paul Giamatti gives an all around mesmerizing performance as a depressed everyman who has immortalized himself as such a character. The underling tone and message are well thought out and well delivered.
April 4, 2015
A great concept (a comics author who is the narrator/star/focus of a "biopic") with some great editing and a good score. Giamatti is good as Harvey, but seems too young/assured at times - I definitely liked the actual Harvey's scenes & narrations. It's a poor-man's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in parts - he seems to make his own troubles and anxieties. Not entirely satisfying, but a unique effort nonetheless.
½ December 29, 2014
A great story based on a comic book writer. The main character is a dull dude. Negative and sloppy. I'm pretty sure he smells.

I like the jazz that's in the backround. I like the clipping, the pace and the way the story is told. It's not funny, but the undertone is funny. It's not sad, but the circumstances are often dark. It's nice that Robert Crumb is taking part in this film. Never heard about neither Crumb or Pekar before, but I saw a pretty great and very ineresting film about Crumb some months ago. I don't know much about comics and my interest is not all that, but both films are very good and enjoyable. Artists do tend do struggle with a whole lot of inner demons and here we vitness it in full. A plesant film that mixes true pictures with Giamattis ace intrepreteation and lovely comic book-like effects. A very strong feature for me.

7 out of 10 stick figures.
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