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Standing by him through it all is Mark's childhood buddy, Mike Schank, who is the strongest weapon against drug use a task force could ever hope for, and Uncle Bill, begrudging financier of Coven, who appears to be wasting away before our very eyes. In less perceptive hands these two could easily become caricatures--the burnt-out stoner and the crotchety old coot--but through director Chris Smith's lens we see why Mark loves them, why they love Mark, and why each of these stories is uniquely compelling.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, the film has been compared to Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman--two unquestionably hilarious mock-documentaries--and, indeed, American Movie has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. But in the spoofs, we feel encouraged to point and giggle at the poor slobs trying to get a piece of the action. Smith, however, offers us a funny and overwhelmingly affectionate portrait; you may sit down expecting to laugh at Mark's pie-in-the-sky hopes, but you soon find yourself bursting with admiration. "The American dream stays with me each and every day," Mark says, and by the end, we want nothing more than for it to come true. (The DVD version includes the complete short film "Coven.") --Brangien Davis
I'd like to see a special feature added to future DVD releases entitled "interviews of people who think American Movie is a mockumentary." My god! Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2006 by Dan J. Dunn
I was just about to buy this DVD, based on the recommendations here, but I noticed that the DVD is in Full Screen format.
What's up with that? Read more
I can't believe I'm the first to review this film. I watched it on DVD three times in two days. The first time I thought I was watching a mockudrama, like Best in Show, for... Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by Thomas L.
This is the funniest thing that I have ever seen! Just see the damn movie. Everyone else can tell you what it's about, all I'm saying is see this movie immediately! Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by "lizardpuppy"
Stranger than fiction,
these guys are inspiring
and downright funny.
American Movie is ostensibly about Borchardt's quixotic quest to complete his independent film, Coven. However, the movie covers far more ground than just filmmaking. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by John M. Angerer
In the amazon review, this movie was compared to the excellent Christopher Guest mocumentaries Waiting for Guffman and Spinal Tap. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by Marlene B. Gallagher
In the amazon review, this movie was compared to the excellent Christopher Guest mocumentaries Waiting for Guffman and Spinal Tap. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2003 by Marlene B. Gallagher