Now Playing by Josh Gates According the Videohound's Golden Movie Retriever there are at least 75 movie titles that start with the word "American." Among them are a few of my all-time favorites: American Beauty, American Movie, American Buffalo, American Psycho, and my newest addition, American Splendor.
I was amazed by this movie. It's one of the most creative and original movies I've EVER seen. The filmmakers ingeniously crafted a story that is depressing but funny, boring but somehow completely interesting and mixes narrative and documentary in a new and clever way.
Paul Giamatti plays Harvey Pekar, a bitter, nervous and unhappy man who writes a comic book about his own pathetic life. Interestingly, the real Harvey Pekar narrates the story.
My favorite scene and a creative twist on conventional storytelling takes place when Paul Giamatti is playing the role of Pekar going about the mundane routines of his job.
Suddenly, the director yells "cut" and Giamatti walks off set to meet with the real Harvey Pekar. They stand next to each other, looking exactly alike, having a meaningless conversation. The scene consists of a unique mixture of narrative and documentary and is absolutely hilarious. From then on, the film seamlessly mixes the two styles giving the viewer different perspectives of the life of Pekar.
Giamatti deserved more praise for his role as Pekar. He's so good that you'll find yourself forgetting that you're watching an actor, even though the film specifically points out that he is an actor.
The creativity of American Splendor is hard to describe, it can only be understood if you see it. It's one of those movies that you'll never forget. It's funny, dramatic, interesting and original.
Pekar is an anti-hero. He's a poor, pathetic, pessimistic person but somehow you'll find yourself rooting for him. He is the underdog and life is his unbeatable opponent. I don't know about you, but I love rooting for the underdog.