LOVEFiLM Review: American Splendor (2003)

The documentary directing team of Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman makes their narrative feature debut with the biographical comedy drama American Splendor. Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti) is a comic book writer inspired by the work of his friend Robert Crumb (James Urbaniak). Pekar writes his comics about the sad monotony of everyday life, based on his own life in Cleveland, OH, working as a file clerk at a veteran’s hospital and spending his time reading books and listening to jazz. He meets up with Joyce Brabner (Hope Davis) and they enjoy a depressive relationship together. The filmmakers employ a combination of live-action film, video, and animation, including narration and commentary from the real-life Harvey Pekar.

I don’t really know anything about the comics or the creator that the film was based on. What I do know is that Paul Giamatti is one of the finest actors in Hollywood right now. Honestly, he could be in anything and it would instantly be 100% better!

If you can get past some of its quirks then American Splendor is a fine a splendorous film.

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