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

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Kirk HoneycuttThe Hollywood Reporter

    It's an extraordinary film. 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

  • 100
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    Pirandello didn't have a patch on its complexities. Here's a popular entertainment with an eclectic soundtrack raising penetrating questions of identity in astonishing sequences that interweave live action with comic-book art. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


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