American Splendor
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I can't imagine how the filmmakers went about it, let alone pulled the whole thing off, but their film comes together in unpredictable and remarkably pleasurable ways."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Hugely enjoyable and very clever portrait of Harvey Pekar."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Channels Pekar's vision of art and life as twinned struggles. One of cinema's great first-date sequences is here. We're splendidly shown how a lower-class nine-to-fiver has his own creative selves and richly expressive life."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"The rare artist biopic that goes beyond the dull march of events and actually illuminates the creative process."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Un film assez lent, mais au récit tout de même fort bien construit"
‑ Jean-François Vandeuren, Panorama
"A glorious rebuke to all this summer's recycled, effects-ridden, laboriously "fun" Hollywood disappointments piled along the wayside like so many crashed cars."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
"It would be a mistake to regard American Splendor as an anthem for the common man. It is the uncommon that is being celebrated here."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
"Earthy, gritty and real; for older kids."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"The film gives a charming, funny, and many times engrossing account of Pekar which will surely please fans and garner some new ones and I liked it a lot."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"A life affirming experience, perhaps even a life changing one."
‑ Keith H. Brown, Eye for Film
"We're constantly kept on our toes regarding issues of representation while Pekar's sour but indefatigible working-class skepticism carries us along."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"If Harvey Pekar is a brilliant oddity so is the movie that tells his story."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's biopic about Harvey Pekar - who injected schadenfreude into the superhero-comics world - wonderfully etches one man's exploration of using misery as a creative outlet and, eventually, a critical coping mechanism."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"American Splendor is certainly one of the most complete, satisfying and entertaining hybrid of documentary and dramatisation, as well as of live action and 2D animation/comic stills."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"The movie is as unclassifiable as the comic -- neither documentary nor biopic, or maybe both."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
More reviews for American Splendor on Rotten Tomatoes

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