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lMovie Review
"Ghost World"
By Mira Harber
   Ghost World is a gem of a movie - it’s smart and unpredictable. The characters in it ring absolutely ‘true’ - they are real people. Based on a comic strip by Daniel Clowes (he co-wrote the screenplay with the director Terry Zwigoff) Ghost World  is about an 18 year old girl and her best friend, newly graduated from high school, and how they begin to find their way in the world. 
    As the movie begins Enid (Thora Birch from American Beauty) and her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) provide a sarcastic running commentary at their high-school graduation. The valedictorian, speaking from a wheelchair, head brace etc. drives Enid to whisper ‘I liked her when she was doing H and an alcoholic. One stupid car crash and she’s suddenly Miss Perfect’. We all knew kids like Enid in high-school - so smart that most people didn’t get that she was thumbing her nose at the stupidity and hypocrisy she often encountered. When she dyes her hair green and does a mock 70’s punk look, no-one is smart enough to get her retro joke. She is lonely and adrift in an impersonal world.
    Enid reads the classifieds and as a joke she responds to a personal ad in the paper and meets Seymour, a lonely middle-aged guy who wears ill fitting, dark and depressing clothers, covered by a green cardiagan as a nod to fashion. Steve Buscemi plays Seymour to perfection. He’s lonely and wants to meet a woman but says “I don’t want to meet someone who shares my interests. I hate my interests.” He can be bleak, but his black humour is funny. Seymour collects valuable old 78 records and old poster art in his free time and is a mid-level exec at a chicken franchise by day.
    Why is Enid interested in Seymour? She purchases an old record from Seymour at a weekly garage sale, for $1.75, mostly as an excuse to talk to Seymour. Much to her surprise she really likes the record, and she discovers that she also likes this strange, lonely, loser “He’s the opposite of everthing I hate”.
    One of the best scenes in the film takes place at a party for Seymours record collecting associates (friends might be too strong a word). If you are a collector of anything at all it will give you pause to think..
    There are a few other wonderful, dead-on characters that populate Ghost World - particularly Illeana Douglas as Roberta - Enid’s  politically correct, summer-school art-teacher.  Roberta doesn’t see art for its own sake, but sees only the ‘message’ in the art. Teri Garr is memorable and scary (in a Stepford mom kind of way) in a small role as Enid’s dad’s girlfriend.
    Don’t expect a formulaic happy ending or simple solutions to some of life’s more profound questions in Ghost World. This quirky, real, and very original movie gives us enough answers to keep us hopeful and shows us that there is always a new road to follow, even if we’re not quite sure where it’s going.
( Stay until the very end of the credits for this movie, it’s worth it!)

 
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