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Ghost World
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ghost World More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

this movie is amazing

Author: jucie (jucie@hotmail.com) from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
15 December 2004

I absolutely love this movie, I find it charming, funny, and REAL!! I rejoice whenever I come across a film that is unlike the majority of the mainstream junk out there, especially the ridiculous teen movies of today. I love the characters in this film, especially Seymour, he is so refreshingly funny! I adore the scene when he's with Enid in his car at the crosswalk waiting for those mothers and kids to cross... "What are we in slow motion here?? Come on! What are you hypnotized? Jesus Christ! Move It!!" hahahahaha, it's pure gold. I would recommend this movie to anyone, especially if you enjoy realistic characters and easy-going movies that make you listen and think... check it out!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Comic book relief

8/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
26 October 2004

"Ghost World" is worth watching because of the wonderful aura created by its director, Terry Zwigoff, who has an eye for presenting an unconventional situation with humor and intelligence.

The movie enjoys the magnificent presence of its principals, Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, and Scarlett Johansson. These three actors are wonderful portraying roles that need an unusual understanding because they live at the edge of what society takes for normalcy.

Thora Birch, above all, as Enid, does one of the best characterizations of her young career. She is a force to be reckoned with, and who will go to bigger and better things in the movies. Enid is the girl that rebels about her life. The mischievous Enid is instrumental in luring Seymour to show up for a fictitious date with a woman who he has met briefly, only to make fun of him. She ends up being attracted to him because she sees qualities in this lost soul that she doesn't see in her world.

Steve Buscemi, as Seymour, has a creepiness that is easily misunderstood for weirdness, but this is a lonesome soul in search of a happiness that has eluded him most of his life. Seymour is in reality an optimist because he wants to get things that are not readily available to him because of the personality he emits to would be friends. It's Mr. Buscemi's achievement to have given life to this simple man with his innate talent.

Finally, Scarlett Johansson, is a smashing Rebecca, Enid's best friend. Ms. Johansson made this movie way before "Lost in Translation" and "The Girl with the Golden Earring". This actress has an inborn talent for whatever character she portrays.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Female Escapism. (spoilers)

9/10
Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
1 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You can probably relate to Ghost World probably if you're an American who views nearly everyone around you as completely wrapped up in a self-indulgent, phony, and excessively materialistic little world. Someone once said that movies with these kind of themes (similar to Fight Club and in the 80s, Repo Man and Suburbia) would probably be best understood by Generation Xers, despised by the Baby Boomers, and misunderstood by the Millenias. I think this is true. To some, Enid may appear like an unnecessarily bitter girl. The outsider. But to others, they may share the perception that Enid is on the inside looking out and justifiably ridicules what has become of things. In fact, Enid is your modern Holden Caufield or like the main character, Clay, of Less Than Zero (the book, not the movie). Only, those characters who model Holden, are funny cynics in this movie.

'Ghost World' is more unusual, too, because it is the rare story of female escapism. Most always, novels and films alike, our protagonist is a male (see the examples above), no matter what the situation. The only other I can remember was the main character, Anna, of the 1998 indie 'Whatever.' Although, she was more disillusioned by percieved failures rather than by the false character of society.

The story of Ghost World is about two girls who graduate high school. Their plans, ordained long prior to graduation, change afterwards along with everything else. Thora Birch is Enid, the main character of our story, and the one who is most defiant of structure. Because, if you think of structure as what society has created, and she doesn't like what people have become (most people), be they superficial or ignorant--I'm not sure how to describe her father--or whatever, then Enid would rather defy that structure as much as possible. She is so deadset in her defiance, that she has everything and everyone molded into a particular position. And as the things around her change following graduation, so to does the positions of those around her. Familiarity is out and to Enid, those around her are giving in to the structure, to the things she hates.

Rebecca (Scarlett Johnson), the monotone best friend of Enid who seems to be cynical (and quite amusingly in expressing it), though not as much as Enid. After graduation, she tries to stick with Enid's plans of finding an apartment together. Only, with Enid's refusal, they tend to drift apart. Rebecca is, in a way, growing up while Enid is trying so desperately to hang on to something so familiar and essentially, trying to defy change. Rebecca, for example, gets a job at a coffeehouse (where all the phonies flock, too). And so forth. She may not be giving in, but to Enid, she is.

In fact, Rebecca and Enid drift further apart with the arrival of a hapless dufus named Seymour (the awesome Steve Buscemi), who first enters the picture when Enid and Rebecca call him pretending to be a long-lost blonde that he was looking for through the personal ads. Seymour eventually becomes good friends with Rebecca, having that main characteristic in common: they're both outsiders to the complacent and mundane mainstream. Seymour is caught up in a time warp sort of. His fascination is the ragtime period of the 20s. He is an avid collector of ragtime record classics. His apartment, his taste in music, everything is similar to Enid in that he completely feels like he, too, is in a Ghost World.

But, gradually as the movie goes along, Enid can't defy change and familiarity as much as she'd like to. Rebecca starts showing up less as Enid spends more time with Seymour. Seymour gets himself a girlfriend, who is mainstream, and tries to impress some of that on him. Other things, too, like the man who seems to be waiting for the bus that never comes but one day, it does. Enid's father starts dating an ex-girlfriend that Enid didn't like. Things gradually become more and more out of control for her. And she seeks escapism that really has turned into a Ghost World. Only one for her and no one else.

This is a movie that really makes its point well (although that's pretty easy) about how Enid and Rebecca (to some extent) and even Seymour view the world. For example, Illeana Douglas, who plays Enid's art teacher, appears like a pretentious person (and art was a good example to use). Look at her 'Mirror Father Mirror' video. Don't ask if that's art. Ask what's the point? And also, what's the point to most of what Douglass's character has to say to her class.

Look at the 50s restaraunt that the friends go to: Wowsville. Where, included in your authentic 50s diner experience is booming rap music and a waiter with a haircut like Wierd Al Yankovic's. At the bar that Enid and Seymour go to, a group of white guys in a band get up on stage and introduce their songs as the real blues experience. Nevermind that they're a bunch of white guys singing about cotton picking. There's the annoying girl from their high school who shows up every once in a while. There's the situation with Enid and the Coons Chicken/Church's Chicken sign where everyone was so politically correct, that they didn't even want to consider what the sign was about and asked to have it removed from the museum. There are so many examples that work well in this story. It is really a terrific movie.

Ghostworld is based on the comic book by Daniel Clowes, who also wrote the screenplay. If this is your kind of story, I highly recommend watching it. Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Buscemi were perfect.

But I wonder, what is green symbolic of here? Green is used in nearly every scene?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good

Author: Laura (tigress0884@yahoo.com) from Woodstock, Illinois
15 February 2004

I've seen this movie a number of times, and every time I watch it, it fails to not make me laugh. Some of the lines in that movie are just hilarious and witty and something my friends and I would say. Of course, the ending wasn't exactly the way I was hoping it would be. But, I don't necessarily think it all out sucks. It sucks in the way that we don't find out what happens to Enid...or Rebecca or Seymore or Enid's dad and Roxanne. But, I look at the ending as Enid leaving town and searching for what her path may be.

I dunno, all around I thought it was a great movie. Impeccable dialogue.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent Teen Drama Reminiscent of the Catcher in the Rye

10/10
Author: Christopher Smith (littlesmitty77@yahoo.com) from Norwalk, California
2 February 2004

GHOST WORLD (2000) - Thora Birch, Scarlett Johannson, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro - Written By Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff - Directed By Terry Zwigoff - *****

Premise: After graduating high school, Enid (Birch) and her friend Rebecca (Johannson) begin planning to move into an apartment together. However, Enid strays from these plans when she meets Seymour (Buscemi), a lonely middle-aged music-lover.

Once again, Thora Birch does not disappoint. One can see Enid develop very clearly. Scarlett Johannson, at the unbelievable age of 16, put up an incredible performance. As for Steve Buscemi, I honestly believe this was his best performance yet... And he is great in everything he's in. The character development is very strong, and it took some incredible performers to pull it off.

Terry Zwigoff added some comedy into the mix, and it was funny. It was a nice addition of ironic and sarcastic humor to a kind of depressing drama.

For anyone who has enjoyed reading the Catcher in the Rye, you will enjoy this movie. If you're looking for a slapstick laugh-a-minute comedy, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for a good teen drama with some intelligent humor mixed in, check Ghost World out. You'll love it. *****

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very good

8/10
Author: rbverhoef (rbverhoef@hotmail.com) from The Hague, Netherlands
6 October 2003

'Ghost World' is one of the best teen movies, if that is what you call it, I have seen. The characters are not there for some stupid romance or some silly jokes, but they feel like real people in a real story. Thora Birch plays Enid, a girl the world does not understand and without any plans for her future. Scarlett Johansson is Rebecca, her best friend who does slowly develops some plans for her own future. Enid meets Seymour (Steve Buscemi). At first she thinks he is not much of a guy, but slowly starts to like him, may be even more.

'Ghost World' is intelligent and although it doesn't sound very funny there are a lot of funny moments. We don't find the normal Hollywood -clichés here and like I said we deal with real moments, not movie moments. This is definitely a very good movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

True love

Author: (Passion3)
21 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILER ALERT I believe that in the end she should have stayed with Seymour. She truely loved him in a way a lot of people don't see. She cared about what he did with his life. She was interested in his collection. She wanted him to be happy. I think that she was shocked when she admitted her true feelings for Seymour. She couldn't handle him loving her in the way he did. She had to escape the feelings they shared between eachother. She should have stayed with him though because it is almost impossible to find a friend and a lover like that.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Teenage Ennui

8/10
Author: gbheron from Washington, DC
6 July 2003

Two young women, newly minted high school graduates, contemplate their fast approaching adult lives in this fresh Indie film. One of the girls, Rebecca, is ready for job, apartment, and the attendant responsibilities of the 'real world'. But the other, Enid, is still contemptuous of the 'real world' into which she is being thrust. Both were outcasts by choice in high school, now one wants to cast off the teenage persona, while the other wants to carry it into adulthood. Of course this places strains on their life-long friendship. Also, Enid, the outcast, is attracted to Seymour, a nerdy middle-aged collector of classic 78s she meets at a yard sale. She pursues him, and they begin a friendship that is poised to bud into romance. A weird romance.

Ghost World really doesn't have a linear plot that progresses from point A to B. It's more of an exploration of the odd and strangely familiar people that inhabit this Ghost World. It's a novel take on the ever-so-common coming of age story, and brings to the screen some very interesting characters. The journey doesn't really have an end, but it is an interesting cinematic trip.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Thought-provoking dramedy

8/10
Author: FilmOtaku (ssampon@hotmail.com) from Milwaukee, WI
29 June 2003

This was the second time I watched this film - the first time I saw Ghost World, about a year ago, I was blown away by its modest profundity. I expected a quirky coming of age story, but received an experience that was much more rich. This time when I watched the film, I was able to glean more subtle jokes and I finally was able to create a plausible hypothesis regarding the end.

While Ghost World is not a film for everyone (I know of at least two people who thought it to be completely boring) there are characters in the film that I imagine just about everyone can relate to - if not one specific character per se, then a general familiarity with the cast as a whole. During both viewings of Ghost World, I marveled at how amazing it was to encounter a film that actually made Steve Buscemi attractive. Sure, he's up there with Walken in the "cool character actor" category, but never before have I watched something with Buscemi where I not only identified with his character (being a film/music/literature geek myself), but actually wanted to befriend a character he portrayed.

There are a lot of issues covered in Ghost World - what to do with one's life, growing out of a friendship, relationships, struggling with ones own identity - and they are all handled beautifully with humor and poignancy by the director, Terry Zwigoff. He handled his previous effort, a documentary on the great artist R. Crumb much in the same manner. With both Crumb and Ghost World, I came with the films with a sense of unexpected sadness, but immense appreciation for the characters involved - the difference between the two films is obviously that Crumb's players are non-fiction, but the biggest similarity is that Zwigoff takes a very unflinching look at his subject matter and lets you come to your own conclusions.

I recommend this film to anyone who is tired of watching the supposed mainstream "coming of age" films that Hollywood has been turning out for decades, which seem to become more inane by the month. There was a lot of hype surrounding this film in the independent film circles and it is more than justified.

--Shelly

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Figure it out

8/10
Author: maneesh8 from CA, USA
25 April 2003

There is no common receipe for life, as how to live fully or enjoy it. People have different interests, sometimes these interests are limiting force in there life rather than expanding and enriching life. To find out what is it you really want before you get sucked into slavish morality of middle class and lead a unwanted life, time after High School is a critical one.

This has been depicted in this movie. This is certainly not a teenager movie. We all revert back some time or other and look at ourselves, and ask is this what I want to be? There is no universal solution to this question. We do get affected by standards placed in society for a good life. We might have love-hate relationship with these standards, and we sometime forget that even in our rebelling, we contribute towards these standards.

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