tek's rating:

Ghost World (R)
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This came out in 2001, and I'm sure I must have seen it sometime in the early Aughts (probably on TV). But I got it on DVD in 2016, which is when I'm writing this review. The movie is based on a comic book that was serialized from 1993-97 in Daniel Clowes's "Eightball" comics, none of which I've ever read. (But I'd like to, someday.) Basically the only thing I remember from the first time I saw the movie is that it starred Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson. (It was the first thing I'd ever seen Johansson in, though I was already a fan of Birch.) Anyway.... I might have also vaguely remembered Steve Buscemi being in the movie.

So... there are these two best friends, Enid (Birch) and Rebecca (Johansson). At the start of the movie, they graduate from high school. (Although Enid has to take art class in summer school.) They plan on getting an apartment together, but Rebecca is the only one who seems interested in getting (or keeping) a job. It's kind of a weird friendship, based largely on both of them being outcasts who disdain "normal" people. But it's clear that Enid and Becky actually have different perspectives on a lot of things, with Becky being the more normal, or at least less caustic, of the two. Anyway, one day they see a personals ad placed by some guy who had met some woman, briefly, and hoped to get in touch with her again. Enid decides to call him up pretending to be the woman he'd met, and invites him to meet her at a diner. She and Becky go wait for him there, but never talk to him, or anything. So he thinks he's been stood up. They get their friend Josh to give them a ride to follow him to his home, where they find he and his roommate are having a garage sale. Enid ends up buying a record from him. Subsequently, Enid befriends the man, whose name is Seymour (Buscemi). And she wants to help him find a woman who would go out with him, although it's fairly obvious that Enid is interested in him, herself. Eventually, Seymour starts going out with Dana, the woman he'd originally been searching for with his personal ad. Meanwhile, Enid's friendship with Rebecca becomes increasingly strained.

And, I dunno, various other stuff happens. It's the kind of movie I'm not really surprised to have forgotten the plot of. It's also the kind of movie I totally expect to like a lot, and then kind of... only like a moderate amount. The kind of thing where I deeply identify with the main characters, at the same time that I don't really identify with them much at all. It's hard to explain. Like, I see myself as an outsider, but not cool enough to be like these characters. Or something. I don't know. Honestly, it's just really hard to get a bead on them, or to decide whether I like or dislike them. Particularly Enid. She seems to be the protagonist, and I like her, but she can be a real jerk. And I feel like Rebecca was just starting to realize that, and stop finding it funny. But still, Enid... okay, I'm really rambling incoherently, now, but I just feel like... she has problems. And I'm not sure how much they're real problems, or at least... external problems. Most of it comes from within, and I totally identify with that. My own problems are mostly internal, but that doesn't make them not real, so... I sympathize with Enid. Even if she does some things I'd never do. And, whatever, it's just an interesting movie. Kind of funny, but mostly awkward and depressing. But not in a bad way. Y'know?

comic book movies