Genre Guesstimation – American Splendor (2003)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Paul of the People’s Movies and we will be reviewing our favorite Loners in Film.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Mar by sending them to lonerpaul@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Paul!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Loners in Film……

“[looking at himself in the mirror] Well, there’s a reliable disappointment. ” – Harvey Pekar

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Mar 2021)

Brief Synopsis – A civil servant creates a comic book out of his everyday mundane life which causes the lines between fact and fiction to keep moving.

My Take on it – This is actually a film that I’ve known about ever since it came out nearly two decades ago, yet never had much desire to see what it was all about.

Paul Giamatti does a nice job is the lead role and the story might have been better had we not been given the pseudo-documentary style of the film which weakens the lines between fact and fiction.

To see both Giamatti as Harvey, yet also meet the real Harvey is a bit too much and detracts so much from this film and its story, especially given the exquisite sad sack performance that GIamatti is able to give here.

Yes, Pekar is truly the epitome of being a loner, but over the course of the story, he tries to discover a way to break free of that feeling, yet doesn’t do it in a more satisfying way.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – NBC would not lease out the actual Late Show with David Letterman (1993) footage where Harvey Pekar finally lashed out at David Letterman, so the scene had to be recreated with actors. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not quite. The character is a bit too cartoonish despite the fact tat he is based on fact.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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