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Ghost World (2001)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 87,927 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 479 user | 164 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Joe
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Graduation Speaker (as Rini Bell)
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Storyline

This is the story of Enid and Rebecca after they finish the high school. Both have problems relating to people and they spend their time hanging around and bothering creeps. When they meet Seymour who is a social outsider who loves to collect old 78 records, Enid's life will change forever. Written by eric from Mexico City

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're high school graduates, and the world's got hell to pay! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2001 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Prízracný svet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£133,188 (UK) (16 November 2001)

Gross:

$6,200,756 (USA) (1 February 2002)
 »

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Enid first talks to Seymour at his garage sale, while flipping through records she holds one up and asks if it's any good. Seymour says, not really. The record she holds up is one of the R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders records, the same R. Crumb who was the subject of Zwigoffs previous documentary, Crumb, and is, in fact, an excellent record, one Seymour would have liked and probably not sold. On the cover of the record, the slouched character on the far left that looks a little like Einstein playing a cello, is Terry Zwigoff, the director, who was a member of the Serenaders and a good friend of Crumbs. See more »

Goofs

When Enid and Rebecca are at the diner and Enid is looking through the personal ads, reading them aloud, Rebecca is playing with sugar on the table. She forms shapes in them that change unnaturally every time the camera goes back to her See more »

Quotes

Enid: I already told you I'm not going to college.
Enid's Dad: [spreading jam on a muffin] Well, I think it's a good idea to keep all your options open. You could even enrol in the winter quarter. You could actually live here and go to the city college part time and still get a job if you want.
Enid: [reading the back of cereal packet] Look at me, I'm not even listening to a word you're saying.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all the credits roll, there's another take of the scene where Seymour (Steve Buscemi) gets attacked by Doug in the minimart. Only this time, Buscemi's characer easily wins the fight, choking Doug with his own weapon, and stomps out triumphantly. He finishes with a bunch of Mr. Pink type dialogue. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comix from the Underground: Psycho Comics #1 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Surfin' Planet Speedball
Written by Bruce Duff
Performed by ADZ
Courtesy of Triple X Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For those of us who tire of standard teen movies, here's the film to make our day. **** (out of four)

GHOST WORLD / (2001) **** (out of four)

For those of us who tire of standard teen movies, here's the film to brighten our day. It's a monkey wrench in the cranks of the tedious genre that features actors in their mid-twenties portraying stereotypical high-school characters shamelessly indulging predictable plots of frivolous romance. Where most movies set in high schools find resolve in romantics, "Ghost World" dares to be different.

Yet it contains all the usual ingredients-aimless main characters, one-dimensional side characters, high school graduation, moronic parents, sexual revelations, a romance-but it tastes different. This movie doesn't believe high school is the root of youth complications; it knows that school isn't where the confusion lies-it's after graduation when the complexities begin.

The movie opens as a high school senior dances along with a music video. Sounds like a typical teenager? Well, not really. The music this girl listens to isn't exactly mainstream. Nothing about Enid (Thora Birch from "American Beauty") is ordinary.

The same goes for her best friend, Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). She is slightly more focused than the aimless Enid, but, as they graduate from high school in the opening scenes, neither of them know what they want out of life.

Rebecca and Enid find interesting people to follow, exploit, and embarrass, just for their own leisure, but even this loses its edge. Making the most (or least) of their situation, the girls stumble upon an outstandingly pathetic personal ad. As a joke, they respond. However, when they meet this man, Enid becomes infatuated with him.

In their post high school days, Enid and Rebecca find themselves slowly drifting apart. Rebecca is eager to get an apartment and get on with her life, while Enid lives by the day, following one infatuation after another. As their attitudes gradually change from cynical to sober, Enid and Rebecca's emerging differences become blatantly obvious, but painfully realized.

"Ghost World" refers to the world in which these characters live, a town slowly being overcome by shopping malls and coffee shops; a town that slowly loses its distinctions and becomes a ghost of what it once was.

My small town of Mason, MI speaks for itself. Once a minuscule farming suburb of the state's capital, it's now a breeding ground for new subdivisions, factories, stores, gas stations, trailer parks, and businesses. Before you know it, it will be a densely populated city like the capital itself.

"Ghost World" makes harsh points, but it never loses its sense of humor. Enid is so full of bitter cynicism that we have to laugh. She indulges the dialogue. It's often tactlessly frank, savoring every opportunity to bash, thrash, ridicule, or insult anyone or anything for any reason.

Society tends to repress our caustic desire to insult a fellow man, but "Ghost World" doesn't hesitate. It takes a lot of risks, but never steps in the wrong direction. It connects us with these characters. They are so casually antisocial that we can't help but to love them. At times, the movie doesn't require dialogue. It simply examines the character's surroundings. We get to know these people so well, we know exactly what they're thinking before they say it. They are a part of our instincts to react on impulse.

But a character is only as good as the actor behind it. "Ghost World" features enormously engaging performances. Brad Renfro gives his nobody store clerk a raw blandness. Illeana Douglas injects a kind of controlled eccentricity into her role as an art teacher. Steve Buscemi creates a hopeless record player collector out of repressed emotion, and lack thereof.

Scarlett Johansson gives Rebecca a dry, depressed mood. Thora Birch steals the whole show with a straightforward, fearless performance. Although the movie never defines the relationship between Enid and Rebecca, the actors themselves make it clear. They create an enticing charisma that gradually turns to an awkward tension.

"Ghost World" captures part of our journey from childhood to adulthood with poetic grace and cynical wit. Though it's not really a coming-of-age film, where a young character finally takes a place in the world. Enid never finds her place, decides her future, or chooses a path. By the end of the story, she simply becomes aware of her possible options. This movie is just the beginning of her story.


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