• American Splendor (2003)

American Splendor

Release Date: August 15th, 2003

DVD Release Date: February 3rd, 2004

R |1 hr 40 min

Plot Summary

Underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar, portrayed by Paul Giamatti but also appearing as himself, is the subject of this inventive biopic. Much of the film focuses on the eccentric Pekar's day-to-day life in Cleveland, particularly his relationship with his patient wife, Joyce Brabner (played by Hope Davis and also appearing as herself). As Pekar's musings are brought to the screen in this unique and engaging production, the movie playfully incorporates comic book-like panels.

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Harvey Pekar, Shari Springer Berman, Earl Billings, James Urbaniak, Judah Friedlander, Robert Pulcini, Toby Radloff

Director: Shari Springer Berman , Robert Pulcini

Genres: Biography , Comedy drama

Production Co: HBO Films, Good Machine

Distributors: Fine Line Features

Keywords: 1980s, Engaging, Friend, 2000s, Wife, Playful, Love, Underdog, 1990s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Kirk HoneycuttThe Hollywood Reporter

    It's an extraordinary film. show more

  • 100
    David SterrittChristian Science Monitor

    Filmed and acted to near perfection, it's one of the year's most innovative and exciting pictures. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    This film is delightful in the way it finds its own way to tell its own story. There was no model to draw on, but Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, who wrote and directed it, have made a great film by trusting to Pekar's artistic credo. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

Similar Movies


Based on Satrapi's graphic novel about her life in pre and post-revolutionary Iran and then in Europe. The film traces Satrapi's growth from child to rebellious, punk-loving teenager in Iran. In the b...

Stream OnlineWatch Trailer
Ghost World
Ghost World

The story of neo-cool Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) who, faced with graduation from high school, take a hard look at the world they wryly observe and decide what they really want...

Stream Online

Filmmaker Terry Zwigoff creates a complex but affectionate portrait of his longtime friend, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. A notorious curmudgeon who would prefer to be alone with his fellow car...

Stream Online


Nominated Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture