Urine Couch AM Movie Club: American Splendor

2003 movie

Rating: 17/20

Plot: The real life and comic life of the very real Harvey Pekar, author of the American Splendor comics that R. Crumb illustrated, collide in a multimedia presentation.

This is a brilliantly layered movie with some stunning transformative performances from Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, and Judah Friedlander. I dig the playfulness of this one, the twisting of reality, the meandering metafilm technique, the weaving in and out of documentary and narrative. American Splendor is a fun and completely unique biopic that makes you laugh and wonder, taking jabs at the absurdities of human existence. I really like it.

But I would really like to write about something else that happened during this Urine Couch AM Movie Club. About a half hour after I got to work, a transvestite, one of our guests, waltzed in. He had a wig, layers and layers of make-up, a nice blouse, a very short black skirt, these sexy fishnet stocking things, and some black high heels. I know what you're thinking, too. Man, Shane really checked this guy out. Yeah, and what's your point? He asked for a new room key and then sashayed out for what I assumed would be a glamorous evening. Around four-thirty in the morning, he/she came in. I was watching this and heard the ice machine in the room behind me. I peeked through the door and saw that it was my transvestite friend again. He got his ice (I can only imagine what he's using it for) and then walked into the lobby to ask when I'm putting our luxurious continental breakfast out--a few "Manager's Special" doughnuts, some coffee, napkins. I tell him that I usually do that after my movies have ended but offer him the rest of yesterday's doughnuts. He took two stale doughnuts and thanked me. "Man, thank you so much. I just don't have any money right now." He high-heeled out again, and I sat down to enjoy more American Splendor. Fifteen minutes later, he came back with a shrink-wrapped pornographic dvd. He flashed both sides at me and said, "Hey, do you know anybody who would be interested in buying this for five dollars?" I apologized and told him that I didn't.

I found out the next day that he refused to leave. He told our front desk person that she was going to have to call the police because he wasn't going anywhere.

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