American Splendor script
Synopsis: 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.

FADE IN:

.

INT. HARVEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

A BEDROOM MIRROR.

The room is dark. A perfectly square mirror hangs crooked on

.

a wall.

Suddenly, out of the darkness, the reflection of a man’s face

comes into focus. He stares straight ahead, perhaps studying

his own unrecognizable reflection. It’s quite clear this is

a portrait of sickness; the man’s pallor is gray, his eyes

are confused. There is something most definitely wrong.

.

Tentatively, the figure steps away from the mirror, leaving .

the frame empty and dark.

ANGLE ON BED .

.

Like a ghost, the naked man (Harvey) stands over his bed

staring down at his sleeping wife (Joyce). In the eerie

.

light, he’s almost translucent.

HARVEY:

(faintly) .

Joyce ... Joyce?

Joyce springs up, alarmed. .

JOYCE:

What are you

What’s wrong, Harvey?

doing up?

Harvey just stands there for a moment saying nothing.

JOYCE (cont’d)

What is it?

HARVEY:

(delirious, out of breath)

Tell me the truth. Am I some guy

who writes about himself in a comic

book? Or am I just --am I just a

character in that book?

.

Joyce rubs her eyes.

JOYCE:

Harvey ...

2.

HARVEY:

If I die, will ‘dat character keep

goin’? Or will he just fade away

...

Joyce just stares at him, unsure how to answer. Suddenly

Harvey collapses.

Joyce leaps from the bed, nervous, hysterical. She gets down

on the floor and shakes him.

JOYCE:

Omigod, Harvey! Harvey, wake up!

CLOSE ON HARVEY’S FACE

His eyes remain closed, his expression far, far away.

FADE TO BLACK:

EXT. CLEVELAND ROW HOUSE - FALL - 1956 - DAY

FADE UP ON:

A surreal kaleidoscope of black, white and red. Similar to

the mirror scene above, the colors slowly come into focus,

revealing the chiseled features of a familiar face. But this

time we see that it is not a real face, but rather a plastic

mask of the D.C. Comic hero -- SUPERMAN.

.

INTERTITLE:
CLEVELAND OHIO, 1956

CLOSE ON SUPERMAN MASK

It glows eerily in the light of a porch lamp. A child’s

pupils glare through the eye holes ...

The camera pans from SUPERMAN to the masked face of another

caped-crusader:
BATMAN. Batman turns toward his loyal sidekick

ROBIN, who clutches a plastic, trick-or-treat pumpkin.

Next, we find THE GREEN LANTERN as he reaches up to ring the

doorbell. The camera finally rests on the last boy: an

unkempt KID wearing no costume at all.

Looking irritated and removed from the rest of the group, the

KID shoves his hands in the pockets of his shearling coat.

He spits and rolls his eyes as a lady answers the door.

The brick home is as working class as it gets. The lady at

the door is a 1950’s HOUSEWIFE.

3.

BOYS:

(in unison)

Trick or treat!!

HOUSEWIFE:

Well, look at this! All the superheroes

on the porch! Ain’t that

cute.

The Lady drops a candy apple in each boy’s container.

HOUSEWIFE (cont’d)

(still yelling)

We got Superman here, Batman, his

sidekick ROBIN, ohh, The Green

Lantern even ...

She finally stops at the costumeless KID. He halfheartedly

holds up a ratty, stained pillowcase.

HOUSEWIFE (cont’d)

And what about you young man?

KID:

What about what?

The other boys giggle. The kid flashes them a “kick yer ass”

look.

HOUSEWIFE:

Who are you supposed to be?

The kid shrugs.

KID:

I’m Harvey Pekar (pronounced “Pee

Car”).

HOUSEWIFE:

Harvey Pekar? That doesn’t sound

like a super hero to me...

BOYS:

(mumbling)

Pecker, Pecker ...

KID:

I ain’t no super hero, lady. I’m

just a kid from the neighborhood,

alright?

The Housewife stares at him, confused.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)Say it

Harvey Pekar

Harvey Lawrence Pekar was an American underground comic book writer, music critic, and media personality, best known for his autobiographical American Splendor comic series. more…

All Harvey Pekar scripts | Harvey Pekar Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Translate and read this script in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss this American Splendor script with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"American Splendor" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/american_splendor_347>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!