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Ghost World (2001)

  Directed by: Terry Zwigoff
Starring: Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi, Illeana Douglas, Scarlett Johansson
Links: Ghost World on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 9.00 (3 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 14th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Ghost World (2001) is also mentioned in andy-j's review of Bad Santa (2003), timchuma's review of Bad Santa (2003), em_fiction's review of Bad Santa (2003), em_fiction's review of Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), em_fiction's review of Lost in Translation (2003) and em_fiction's review of The Doll House (2004).

"Not Just Another Teen Movie" - a review by andy-j

Enid (Thora Birch, who played Kevin Spacey's daughter in American Beauty (1999)) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson, the piano-playing nympho in The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)) are best friends. They spend their days hanging out, shopping, acting ultra-cool, and amusing themselves by marvelling at the sad pathetic lives of those around them. As the movie opens, the two have just graduated from high school and are ready to realise their plans of moving in together. However, they start to drift apart from one another once Rebecca gets a job and Enid develops a friendship with Seymour, an eccentric middle-aged record collector (played by Steve Buscemi).

I really enjoyed hanging out with Enid and Rebecca during this movie. They're both a lot of fun, albeit cruel to others, and they seem to have an close understanding of each other (well at first anyway). The movie examines their relationship, focusing on Enid's inability to move forward. It seems that she is standing still while everyone else around her is moving in different directions, and ironically, she takes comfort in Seymour, the man who she only met after playing a cruel trick on him. Enid doesn't really understand what is happening, and why it is happening, and has to learn to accept and cope with the changes that are being forced upon her.

This movie really made me think - even though I am very different to Enid, I can relate to her situation and learn something from her experiences. Far from a stupid teen comedy flick, this is a mature, thoughtful and brilliantly acted film. It moves wonderfully, is totally believable, and is an absolute pleasure to watch. Not to mention absolutely hilarious in parts.

andy-j gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 2 Jul 2002

"Movie about teens; minus the fart jokes" - a review by pearly

After graduating from high school, best friends Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), plan to get an apartment together, and never to see any of the pseudo-bohemian losers that they went to school with again. After responding to a personal ad in the paper to get some cheap kicks, Enid becomes friends with middle-aged Seymour (Steve Buscemi), and her friendship with Rebecca starts to crumble.

Ghostworld is a good film. It's clever, it's interesting, it has something to say. Thora Birch is wonderful - if there is a word that means monotone, but in a physical sense, then that's how I would describe her portrayal of Enid - a dry-witted individual who is a little jaded with almost everything. Steve Buscemi plays the multi-faceted Seymour with panache. There are a couple of scenes in which he steals the show; in particular, the car driving sequence, where his character reveals a different side to himself.

The most interesting part of the movie for me (from a plotline perspective) was the relationship between Enid and Rebecca. On first impressions, these best friends have everything in common. But these impressions don't last long, and pretty soon you're wondering why they're even friends at all. Enid offers up her opinion on almost everything, and it seems that Rebecca just goes along with whatever Enid is saying, even if she doesn't really agree. So, when their friendship begins to crumble, it's not a huge surprise. I guess that this is pretty normal; when you're in school, you hang out with people because there's no-one else to hang out with. When you're out in the big, bad world, you can choose to hang out with a nerdy old music collector if you wish.

So, an interesting and different film. And I haven't even mentioned Illeana Douglas' outrageously funny and over-the-top role as Enid's remedial art teacher. Superb.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 2 Jul 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 2
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 9.00
Lowest rating: 8 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 10 (by em_fiction)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. i love the movie... it's shows the real live of a teenager... confusing....

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from jennifer on Fri 25 Feb 2005 02:20 #

  2. This was "the" most depressing movie I have ever seen. Yet it was depressing in a way where you were compelled to watch, mystified by how real the movie seemed. Me and my brothers rented it when I was a Senior in High school (I am the oldest) now two years later I still remember how dreedfuly depressing the movie was. It is't a movie i would watch more than twice and have only watched it once so far. So if you are feeling to happy and want to tone yourself down go ahead and watch the artful, depressing, film; Ghost World.

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from darkhour_ on Wed 25 May 2005 09:23 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.00 (2 ratings)

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