Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for language, nudity, and crudity
Run Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
“American Splendor” isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it deserves major snaps for guts and originality.
Pekar (Paul Giamatti) is a comic book legend, of sorts. His work, based out of the blue-collar
Perhaps more interesting is the fact that Harvey is a perennial loser (in his own words) who can’t illustrate his own comics, choosing instead to hire out his thoughts and deeds to talented up-and coming artists such as R. Crumb and Doug Zabel.
have been a routine re-telling of the life of yet another underground genius is
more genius than it sounds. Directors
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini have infused their little indie with an
ultra-hip soundtrack and stellar performances by both Giamatti and the always
remarkable Davis. But their biggest risk was editing in the real Harvey Pekar, a cantankerous
eccentric who joins the action at regular intervals. Documentary meets
narrative storyline as