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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 40%
Just Average: 12.73%
Pretty Crappy: 1.82%
Sucks: 3.64%

5 reviews, 25 user ratings

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American Splendor
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

4 stars

American Splendor, like the comic of the same title, comes directly from the life of creator Harvey Pekar. Pekar features and gives commentary on this recreation of biographical episodes by writer-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

The directors (Pulcini also edited) have blended biography, documentary and fiction to tell a fascinating story about a creative man, his wife and their milieu. Berman and Pulcini bring Pekar’s work to life by effectively placing us inside his comic.

As well as appearing as himself, Pekar features in footage from the Letterman show. Paul Giamatti brilliantly evokes him in a slump-shouldered, melancholic performance. Hope Davis is similarly fine as Pekar's wife, Joyce Brabner, and Judah Friedlander as self-confessed "nerd" Toby Radloff. We especially appreciate the skill of the performers after seeing them interact with the people they're playing during the semi-documentary sequences.

American Splendor, with its suitably drab Cleveland photography by Terry Stacey and its downbeat mood, drags a little towards the end but is an inspired and original work.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8078&reviewer=104
originally posted: 09/22/03 17:52:39
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/26/09 Loren This movie deserves review by intellectuals, not this guy 5 stars
3/26/07 fools♫gold Giamatti's greatest; a masterpiece because of how stereotypically people rate it! 5 stars
7/22/05 Bad Critic Giamatti is great, just like in Sideways! (See Sideways, it's good, even better!) 5 stars
5/07/05 Valerie kind of boring 2 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold I guess it's supposed to be hip and ironic, but it's just boring. 3 stars
10/23/04 ODH Funny and intelligent movie, Toby chewing food is worth the price of admission!!! 5 stars
9/25/04 VIctor If I want to be bored, I'll film my life for the past six months. 1 stars
8/16/04 Peter James Intelligent and hilarious and Paul Giamatti plays the part perfectly 5 stars
6/12/04 DM A sweet, hilarious film that does justice to an excellent comic book 5 stars
6/10/04 T. Maj Unpatronizing ode to "average joes" 4 stars
5/05/04 A F Just Average. Just Average. 4 stars
4/25/04 Denise Duspiva the most boring movie ever about boring people 1 stars
4/19/04 tatum Great sleeper 5 stars
2/28/04 jimmy two times Giametti should've got an oscar nod. Funny as hell and heart warming. 5 stars
2/24/04 Kris original, intelligent, memorable and ultimately uplifting 5 stars
2/05/04 George Jung Solid, creative film. 4 stars
11/04/03 katsat The most original, creative and interesting movie I've seen in years. 5 stars
10/11/03 john great, just loved it...reality and humor 5 stars
9/23/03 Blubberbot A great movie. This web site used to be good. It kind of sucks now. 5 stars
9/22/03 katsat One of the most original, unque, fresh, and interesting movies I've seen in a long time 5 stars
9/13/03 Metal Bertrand Hilarious and also highly dramatic, with perfect performances and boundless creativity. A+ 5 stars
9/11/03 Butterbean Good and innovative. It feels long. I wanted to slap Pekar. 4 stars
9/04/03 Heather Good acting, no doubt the Ghost World fans will see it 5 stars
9/02/03 King Richard I'm going to look into the books. 5 stars
8/18/03 Ethan Splendid. Giamotti should get an Oscar nomination. 5 stars
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  15-Aug-2003 (R)
  DVD: 03-Feb-2004



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