Hugely enjoyable and very clever portrait of Harvey Pekar, a nerdy Cleveland hospital worker who happens to have become a hugely successful comic strip author (writing about his almost wholly banal life) and chat show celebrity. The film is very funny without resorting to condescension, but also genuinely touching in its desire to celebrate a man quite remarkable for being so very unremarkable. The killer strategy (crucial if the film is to avoid a charge of patronising caricature) is to have Pekar, his likewise neurotic wife and equally unglamorous pals pop up regularly on screen to comment on and be compared to their lightly fictionalised counterparts as played (brilliantly) by the likes of Giamatti and Davis.
Cast and crew
Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman
Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Harvey Pekar Joyce Brabner Toby Radloff Hope Davis Paul Giamatti James Urbaniak Judah Friedlander