Film: Ghost World (2001)



Thora Birch                    (Enid)

Scarlett Johansson      (Rebecca)

Steve Buscemi                (Seymour)



Enid and Rebecca are best friends who live on the outside of the cliques formed in high school. After graduation the two plan to rent an apartment together. However, only Rebecca gets a job and moves toward their supposedly mutual goal, while Enid basically lies around. When she does go out it's to meet people, and attempt to solve the problems in their lives.

Meanwhile Rebecca grows more and more agitated, pulling away from Enid. She sees Enid heading for a dead-end, wasting her time when she could be getting on with her life. And Enid sees Rebecca as conforming to society's ideal of what she should be. The two, so close throughout high school, being to fall apart.

In the midst of all this, Enid meets a reclusive, nerdy collector of old vinyl records named Seymour, who opens up her musical interests to include more blues/jazz. Determined to turn his life around and cure his loneliness, she devotes more and more of her time to building up his ego. In the process of this she loses yet more sight of Rebecca, who can't understand why anyone would become so invested in such a loser as Seymour. Most likely it's Seymour's inherent sweetness that draws Enid in, as well as her quest to fill her days with something other than holding down a regular job.


The target audience for this film is definitely younger than I am, but I enjoyed the humor and slight supernatural ending. It was funny, intelligent, and kept my interest. Plus, Steve Buscemi does an excellent job portraying a nerdy character with low self esteem. The film was very well cast.

I borrowed the movie from the library because I've read and enjoyed some of Daniel Clowes' graphic works, so this adaptation of his book by the same name was appealing. And I wasn't disappointed. Recommended for those who enjoy off-beat, quirky films.

Rated R, 111 min. running time


2 thoughts on “Film: Ghost World (2001)

  1. One of my fave movies EVERRR! I taught a meeting of my Film Adaptation class in grad school, and I had the class look at a chapter from Ghost World along with this film. Very resistant at first, but by the time class was over everyone was jonesing for visual symbolism. 😀


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