It may not be the best film ever made, but American Movie is certainly one of the funniest - even if it is not a comedy. The lead character is a 30 year old paper carrier who still lives at home but has the dream to be an independent film maker. But when he decides to make his dream come true, he runs smack into the eternal truth that, however cool or inspired your ideas are, the people around you are probably too lazy or too lame to make it work, even if they profess undying support. His partner in this venture is a Dead-head slacker who appears to have taken serious quantities of prohibited drugs - which you could guess, even if you weren't listening to his acid trip stories - and who tags along merrily to support his friend without adding any energy. His main financier is an older relative who is reluctant to part with his substantial savings until he is given a role in the film. And our hero, being from the wrong side of the tracks, doesn't have the middle class network or education which other film makers can leverage. It's part buddy story, part morality play, part fish out of water scenario, part epic struggle against class and circumstances - and, almost unbelievably, it's a documentary. The lead characters were spotted while borrowing equipment at their local university to work on the film, and the documentary crew traced their progress. The film has been criticised for setting up the characters to ridicule - and there is no doubt that, with their middle class network and education to leverage, the film crew have the upper hand - but there is terrific spirit in the hero's struggle against his circumstances, which is epic, inspiring and - the audience suspects from the beginning - doomed to failure. It's like waking up from the American dream.