Saturday, February 15, 2014

American Splendor (2003)

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Writers: Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Composer: Mark Suozzo

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Harvey Pekar, Shari Springer Berman, Larry John Meyers, Vivienne Benesch, Barbara Brown, Earl Billings, Danny Hoch, James Urbaniak, Eli Ganias, Hope Davis, Molly Shannon

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.

Plot: An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

From the first few minutes you get an idea how fun and absurd this picture is going to be and it doesn't falter for a moment.  It's fascinating, the technique used by having both Paul Giamatti's portrayal of Pekar and the real Harvey Pekar in the same film, sometimes side by side, works both as a narrative device and for laughs.  The real Pekar is hilarious and Giamatti does him justice.  What a great actor.  All of the performances are good and fun.  James Urbaniak stands out as a young Robert Crumb.  SPLENDOR is an interesting and damn fine comic book movie that's got a lot of laughs and generates a lot of fun.  It would make a great double bill with the wonderful documentary, CRUMB (1994), a picture I haven't seen in quite some time and this picture has got me itchin' to see it again.

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