Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- Group Audio Commentary with Directors, Cast & Harvey Pekar
- Featurette: Sundance Channel's "Road to Splendor"
- Music Only Track : American Splendor Song
- "My Movie Year" 12 page Comic Insert That Appeared in "Entertainment Weekly"
- DVD ROM Features including Screen Saver
- Easter Eggs
Top Customer Reviews
Harvey Pekar, played by Paul Giamatti, leads an ordinary life in the city of Cleveland, working as a file clerk in a VA hospital, divorced twice, scours garage sales and thrift stores for rare Jazz records, is thoroughly well read, and observes the people in his life and his surroundings fairly closely, taking it all in, good and bad. Harvey does tend to a rather morose individual; so don't come into this movie looking for tales of happiness and joy. A chance meeting with a greeting card artist and future underground comic legend Robert Crumb develops in to a long-standing friendship through their similar interests. Once Crumb becomes famous for his unusual style of comic books, Harvey decides he wants to try his hand at it, creating, with the help of Crumb's illustrations, stories about his life titled American Splendor. No superheroes here, but more of a realistic portrayal of his own life, warts and all. Soon he develops cult fame, and meets his future wife, Joyce, a comic book storeowner from Delaware. Harvey's fame manifests itself in a sort of bizarre fashion, leading to a number of appearances on David Letterman's late night talk show, and even trickles down to people he knows and includes in his book, specifically his ultra nerdy co-worker and friend Toby Radloff, played wonderfully by Judah Friedlander.Read more ›
We all love Harvey. It's kind of hard not to. He's just some guy trying to live his life while wading through all the BS and stupidity that surrounds him. He gets so sick of it that he finally puts it down in the form of a comic book. The rest is history. Absoulutely one of the best films of 2003. Check it out.
Writer/directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini employ a mix of animation, documentary and bio-pic conventions to relate their story, with varying degrees of success. Showing excerpts of Harvey's actual appearances on the David Letterman Show instead of recreating them with actors is a stroke of genius and I appreciated the unapologetic, direct way these sequences were handled: we see Paul Giamatti waiting in the wings, followed by a cut to the real Harvey walking out onto the stage. At other times, such as having the real Harvey comment on the actor chosen to play him, it seems somewhat contrived and echoes a complaint that he makes during the film of having been co-opted by the system.
All in all, a very entertaining, interesting film with wonderful performances. PS: I can't end my review without mentioning Judah Friedlander's wonderfully quirky, hilarious, and touching performance as uber-nerd Toby Radloff. Certain key characters also appear as themselves during the film.
The casting is rather good with Giammati in the lead and Hope Davis as his forceful but understanding wife. Giammati is a cross between Vincent D'Onfrio and Nick Tortelli (Carla's husband)from cheers (whatever his name is) and is always a believable force on the screen. Hope Davis is the Velma of the seedy underground comic/geek underworld. The rest of the supporting cast are great stock characters and mirror the real life entities which encompassed Pekar's life. For those of you who might have been put off by the Crumb movie, this was done far more conventionally and without the grotesque, sad nature of the afforementioned film. But that's probably more to do with the subject and not ability. A good alternative to the typical Hollywood big-budget schlock.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I LOVE this movie, my only regret is that it's not on Blu-Ray !Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
American Splendor is quite the postmodern film. It's an interesting take on life from the POV of a normal eccentric man. Read morePublished 4 months ago by rbrogan3
I just couldn't get connected to this movie. After reading all of the great reviews from critics and fans as well I was really disappointed I can't get the almost 2 hours I wasted.Published 6 months ago by Terry McGuire
Amazing movie. It is the true story of a real person who became famous in the 1980s by journaling his life via comic books (a new idea at the time). Read morePublished 13 months ago by Peregrine Plover