Saturday, March 10, 2012

American Splendor

What American Splendor offers is a portrait of a man who first is unaffected by society then eventually offended by it.

The man is Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti), the famous comic book writer who passed away back in 2010. Harvey at first didn't particularly mind that his life was the definition of mundane. It wasn't until he became a recognizable name that he realized it.

Harvey marries Joyce (Hope Davis), a fellow comic book lover who's just as messed up as him. Harvey doesn't mind; all he really wanted was some companionship. (Joyce also provides some inspiration for Harvey, even if it puts an awkward dent int their relationship.)

American Splendor is different from most biopics in that it doesn't glamorize (or in some cases de-glamorize) its subject. Instead, it treats Harvey as a normal person who just got lucky. In all honesty, that was Harvey to begin with.

All in all, American Splendor is very good. Giamatti and Davis give top notch performances. However, it felt a little dry in some scenes. Still, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini know how to make a good film.

My Rating: ****1/2


  1. This remains one of the best films I had ever seen in a theater. I went to see the film with a full crowd and we just enjoyed ourselves and it got a huge applause at the end of the film. That was something I hadn't experienced in my movie-going experience at that time.

  2. This is a very good movie that didn't get enough attention from people. I loved the scene where they had the real Pekar and his friend talking while the actors that were playing them looked on.

  3. I think this is Paul Giamatti's best film role. He was flawless playing Harvey.


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