American Splendor Movie Review Summary

Actors: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, James Urbaniak, Harvey Pekar

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of American Splendor

American Splendor open with a short scene in 1950 where Batman, Robin and Superman surround Harvey. However the rest of the movie is in 1970s and 1980s depicting Harvey life and how his comic book started. The movie also shows his battle with cancer.
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Harvey Parker is a Cleveland native, VA hospital clerk, who is grumpy about life. He is a comic book writer and writes about life but an obsessive-compulsive collector and a lousy housekeeper. He is an average Joe who pursues self-expression without self-censorship. During the course of movie he behaves like a prickly poet who knows all about world, yet cant save a guy from choosing a wrong super market checkout line.

The review of this Movie prepared by Tanvir Orakzai

Harvey Pekar is an intelligent and well read but largely uneducated guy who works as a file clerk at a VA Hospital in Cleveland. Early in the 1960s, he hangs out with aspiring comics artist R. Crumb. Through two failed marriages, Harvey collects old jazz records and comic books, and wonders what to do with his life. Finally, in 1975, inspired by American naturalist writers like Dreiser, he considers writing down the details of his mundane, working-class life with no frills or sentiment. Mildly intrigued, Crumb -- now a famed underground comics artist -- agrees to illustrate Pekar's story. Then other artists try it, and Pekar becomes an underground cult favorite (though never making enough money to give up his dreary day job peopled by various eccentrics). Joyce Brabner, the co-owner of a comics store in Delaware, writes to Harvey, and an oddball soul-mate romance develops between the two quirky, often depressed individuals. Pekar becomes a favorite on the David Letterman show until he rebels and has an on-air meltdown. Then cancer strikes. This utterly true story is refreshingly told with the help of comic art (drawings melt into live action and vice versa), comic dialogue balloons inside live action scenes, footage from Pekar's actual appearances on Letterman, the real Pekar and Brabner and other folks in their lives talking to the filmmakers on a false set, and many other creative and imaginative techniques. Giamatti and Davis are utterly terrific as the dorky and neurotic but nevertheless endearing couple. Surely one of the most innovative and just plain best films of 2003, "American Splendor" is an odd, funny, and touching revelation.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of American Splendor

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Struggle with    -   (General) search for meaning/identity If a cartoon...    -   part real, part animated Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   writer

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer    -   blue collar Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Is this movie based on a    -   comics

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