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Standing by him through it all is Mark's childhood buddy, Mike Schank, who is the strongest weapon against drug use a task force could ever hope for, and Uncle Bill, begrudging financier of Coven, who appears to be wasting away before our very eyes. In less perceptive hands these two could easily become caricatures--the burnt-out stoner and the crotchety old coot--but through director Chris Smith's lens we see why Mark loves them, why they love Mark, and why each of these stories is uniquely compelling.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, the film has been compared to Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman--two unquestionably hilarious mock-documentaries--and, indeed, American Movie has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. But in the spoofs, we feel encouraged to point and giggle at the poor slobs trying to get a piece of the action. Smith, however, offers us a funny and overwhelmingly affectionate portrait; you may sit down expecting to laugh at Mark's pie-in-the-sky hopes, but you soon find yourself bursting with admiration. "The American dream stays with me each and every day," Mark says, and by the end, we want nothing more than for it to come true. (The DVD version includes the complete short film "Coven.") --Brangien Davis
AMERICAN MOVIE chronicles the making of a short horror film by Mark Borchardt. The film is called COVEN, and is worked on by default, due to a severe lack of funding for a planned... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
Wow. Where to start...
This is my go-to documentary. Charming, inspiring, touching... hilarious. It doesn't get much better than this. Read more
This is an incredibly fascinating, humorous, and tragic documentary. You won't be able to look away, even when it's uncomfortable. Read morePublished 19 days ago by CP
It's hilarious unintentionally- which is hilarious in its own right.Published 23 days ago by Thinkinginpictures
Well, I give this flick a BOB rating, or Better Off Baked when you watch it.Published 1 month ago by David L. Fuller
First time I've ever felt the need to review a movie but I loved this film and watched twice in less than a week. This is entertaining and has lessons on a lot of levels.Published 5 months ago by J. Lincoln White