|By Mira Harber
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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..
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.
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
( Stay until the very end
of the credits for this movie, it’s worth it!)
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