Ghost World FILM review

Film / Video Reviews
Ghost World FILM review
Jul 20, 2001, 05:30

Suicide Girls have nada over Thora

GHOST WORLD directed by Terry Zwigoff, 2001

Teen flicks very rarely pass the grade-school level. That's why it's such a relief to see a movie like Ghost World. Terry Zwigoff's adaptation of the Dan Clowes comic book of the same name is full of complex, conflicted emotions, the kind that accompany the transition from high school to the “real world.”

It follows an 18 year old misfit, Enid (Thora Birch), who befriends Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a middle-aged man obsessed with collecting old blues records. As Enid says, she's attracted to him not because she loves him, but because he's “the opposite of everything I hate.” You see, like Enid, Seymour “can't relate to 99 percent of humanity”—the music they listen to, the way they treat one another, the daily routines, the hypocrisy.

Ghost World is unrelenting in its portrayal of a dead-end America built on boredom and strip malls. But it's also one of the year's most touching films. Behind Enid's sarcasm and condemnation are fears and doubts. She relates to her fellow misfit, but the relationship reveals the flaws of her attitude.

Like Election or the wrongly cancelled TV show, Freaks and Geeks, this flick views high school at a deeper level than pep rallies and detention halls. It's a petri dish in which roles, personality types, and futures are formed.

-John Petkovic

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