Thursday, October 21, 2004

American Splendor -review-

I actually saw this movie on cable which is a rarity for me considering I only put the TV on as background noise and the only show that can have me stopping for anything is Smallville.

Yeah, I know, pathetic.

The thing that I really enjoyed about this film was not only that it was well-put together with some fine actors but I truly enjoyed the interaction of all the characters. With bits of documentary footage thrown in with numerous slides of the actual comic, it made for a really interesting montage of this person's life.

Favorite parts of the film had to be when the actors (Paul Giamatti and crew) would wrap up a scene and walk off the set to speak to the actual people they were portraying, which in this case would be, Harvey Pekar, the genius who came up with the stories behind American Splendor.

Working with great artists, most famously, Robert Crumb (played by a kinda creepy James Urbaniak), you can almost see how two such odd individuals could get along so well.

Pekar gave this country something to laugh about and let the "every guy" in America know that they were not alone in their ordinary lives. I remember my dad reading this comic and I would see him grin probably for the first time that day. I know that as a blue collar worker he was happy to see things in his life drawn out for the world to see, and able to find the good spot in all of it.

Life in the Pekar household must have been a trip, and we see glimpses of that life through his current wife. You get to see all the ups and downs and phobias that would drive any normal person up the wall...and Pekar was pretty bad, too.

I think I would have killed his wife if I had been married to her.

Pekar is able to grab the most mundane things in his life and tell a story about it, people don't realize how valuable that kind of talent is, it's rare.

Alot of enjoyment came from seeing how the world was back in those days, since it takes place in the late 70's and works into the 80's and beyond, you kind of get to relive your childhood, even if it happens to be through a borderline schizoid, who is uncouth and slightly unhygenic.

Unless you are just an old fart and can't relate.

I think the only parts I hated were when he would go on David Letterman's show and be seen as some sort of idiot savant or really burned my ass, and it made me dislike the snarky Letterman even more than I already did.

Anyway, in closing, if you hadn't caught this movie when it was out last year, you should really rent it. It's a bit disturbing and can be dark at times, but the cast is so wonderful and odd, that you forget about all of that, and truly enjoy the funniness of Pekar's world.


Blogger DeAnn said...

It was On Demand for quite some time, but I still didn't manage to catch it. I did watch "The Motorcycle Diaries" twice in two days, though! See it. Now.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Ari said...

I will try and catch TMD, I have to see if its playing in my area though and it wont be till next week, wow you really love that movie, huh?

8:10 AM  
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