7.4/10
106,967
491 user 129 critic

Ghost World (2001)

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.

Director:

Terry Zwigoff

Writers:

Daniel Clowes (comic book), Daniel Clowes | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,866 ( 290)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thora Birch ... Enid
Scarlett Johansson ... Rebecca
Steve Buscemi ... Seymour
Brad Renfro ... Josh
Illeana Douglas ... Roberta Allsworth
Bob Balaban ... Enid's Dad
Stacey Travis ... Dana
Charles C. Stevenson Jr. ... Norman
Dave Sheridan ... Doug
Tom McGowan ... Joe
Debra Azar ... Melora
Brian George ... Sidewinder Boss
Pat Healy ... John Ellis
Rini Bell ... Graduation Speaker
T.J. Thyne ... Todd
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prízracný svet See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$98,791, 22 July 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,217,849

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,543,544
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When inside "Zine-O-Phobia", visible is "Pussey" a comic by Daniel Clowes, who wrote the graphic novel "Ghost World" and co-wrote the screenplay. There is also visible "Eightball" and "David Boring", also by Daniel Clowes. The unicorn painting shown in Enid's summer art class was also done by Daniel Clowes. See more »

Goofs

When Enid and Rebecca are following the "Satanist" couple, we see them walking down a street with a storefront to their left and a crosswalk sign behind them. They turn a corner with the building on their right, but then we them walking down the street with the storefront once again on their left and crosswalk sign behind them. See more »

Quotes

Rebecca: So, what do you do if you're a Satanist anyway?
Enid: Sacrifice virgins and stuff.
Rebecca: Well, that lets us off the hook.
[they laugh]
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

References The World of Henry Orient (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Is the Love
Written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter
Arranged by Rick Fleishman
Performed by Orange Colored Sky
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)
17 January 2002 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

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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