Monday, July 23, 2001

Movie Review: Ghost World

Have you ever seen a movie that you really loved that you can't describe to someone, other than to say you really loved it? That's the dilemma I have with Ghost World. It's one of those slices-of-life movies: no clear objectives, no action sequences, no villains, no problems to solve. Well, there are problems to solve, I guess, but nothing like obtaining mystical triangles or escaping dinosaur-infested islands.

Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) have just graduated high school. They were the ones in school that were on the fringe: not losers, but not popular, just the cynical outsiders who liked to be on the outside, just so they can look at everyone else and mock their normalcy, banality and conformity. So they graduate. No college in their plans, they decide to get jobs and get an apartment together. The problem: Enid is far less motivated to do so than Rebecca. The more Rebecca embraces growing up and earning a living and joining society, the more Enid rebels and clings to those outsider values.

Along the way, in a bit of a cruel prank, they meet Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a lonely, socially awkward self-proclaimed dork who collects old records. Enid immediately identifies with and befriends him, and they start spending a lot of time together. When Seymour begins dating a "normal" woman, Enid again feels threatened and is confronted by the fear of losing yet another friend to that world. And that's it, really. It's about growing up, finding yourself, relationships, and friendships. And it's also really, really funny.

If you're after "THE THRILL RIDE OF THE SUMMER!!!" this ain't it. But I can't recommend this enough to people who appreciate this sort of thing.

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