Ghost World - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ghost World Reviews

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½ August 6, 2017
Story about a girl on the fringe of popular culture who refuses to get a job since it would be participating in the capitalist regime. The movie has an odd charm from the very start. Thora Birch's whiny attitude does tend to grate on you though so be prepared. I enjoyed it. Good but not great.
½ August 2, 2017

Even when the rythm and directing dont help as much to elevate the narrative to new heights, Ghost World is captivating beyond doubt, thanks to its wonderfully constructed world full of brilliant details and funny and apropiate commentary.
July 24, 2017
This was a horrible movie These kids have worthless lives!
June 19, 2017
Onde eu encontro esse? Adaptação da graphic novel do Clowes...
June 6, 2017
Really funny and feels exactly like a Daniel Clowes comic in live action. The shot compositions and in-world fonts are fully authentic, and somehow even the people look like Clowes drawings. All the performances are great, with Steve Buscemi standing out to me as the character I couldn't get enough of watching. And although it remains a comedy the whole way through, there are some really touching and sad moments, and I felt genuine sympathy for everybody. "Ghost World" is phenomenal.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2017
A film worthy enough to have Steve Buscemi as a romantic lead! Didn't see THAT coming. Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson nail it as too nominally self-aware babes in an all but oblivious world, it shivers me timbers! See it.
½ February 28, 2017
I liked it, it was like watching beavis and butthead, but with girls :)
½ February 21, 2017
Adolecent misfit in general, abducting weirdness and confronting 99% of the others. Everyone with a soul and identity will identify themselves here, though unfortunately I saw my self as Buscemi, good its only fiction. In this world of choices, what path is yours, there is no fucking straight line, for sure.
January 13, 2017
A wickedly acidic indie feature that combines coming-of-age teen movie with a dark comedy.
December 27, 2016
Pretentious crap. The amazing thing is that the director felt Thora Birch was so much more interesting than Scarlett Johansson. Really a waste of 2 hours.
November 15, 2016
bored white girl gets mad that no one finds her quirky or charming.
October 13, 2016
a phenominal teenage flick.... best director and best films of all time
October 8, 2016
I absolutely loved it. One of the very few films that allows the viewers to form their own interpretations.
August 5, 2016
I turned it off after 30 minutes....boring.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2016
For a film about the inevitable loss of friendship and the meaningless search for purpose in life, "Ghost World" still manages to be hilarious. A remarkable achievement.
½ June 2, 2016
Witty and clever film about the confused young girl and a withdrawn man who, at the first sight, are very different persons but as they get to know each other it reveals that they have in common similar inner worlds and they loath the banal and trivial world of common people.
½ June 1, 2016
Slow, boring, I couldn't make it to the end.
½ May 22, 2016
Odd but also awesome.
May 22, 2016
Ghost World deftly handles the teen angst thematics due to Terry Zwigoff's comical deadpan atmosphere, a piercing script and charming lead performances.
May 4, 2016
Sometimes I like to pretend I'm in a TV show. Preferred is a television program specifically like "The Office," in which disgruntled characters were given opportunity to look straight into the camera, with deadpan smugness, no less, whenever something unusual made its way onto the scene. Coming to mind is Jim Halpert, the show's secondary hero who gave the series some of its biggest laughs just by mugging for the camera whenever his boss, Michael Scott, did something questionable.
Of course, Jim Halpert is fictional and so is Michael Scott, and I exist in a world I'd like to think is real. Therefore there are no cameras around for me to break the fourth wall of. I can laugh all I want at life's many ironies, its many detours that look almost exactly like a vintage "Saturday Night Live" skit. But unless I'm with a friend or a like-minded acquaintance, no one can enjoy an easy-to-make-fun-of moment of time in quite the same way I can. For those few minutes am I able to tell myself that I'm above the given situation I'm internally guffawing at. But am I really that much better myself?
The central characters of 2001's "Ghost World" live perpetually in that bubble of self-regard: so staunchly intelligent are they that everyone around them appears to be artificial and little-minded, countering to their ability to detect the world's bullshit. I'm not nearly as cynical and not nearly as wrapped up in myself. But "Ghost World's" Enid (Thora Birch) and Becky (Scarlett Johansson) are.
We first meet them on the day they're graduating from high school. Outsiders within a typical American town jam packed with strip malls and fast-food joints, they've spent their entire lives existing as wallflowers within a community that will never understand them - they only have each other, and that's perfectly fine. Better to have a friend who can recognize the spurious natures of classmates and authority figures than fake friendships for the sake of looks.
Initially, though, we're not so sure that we like them. They mock the school's valedictorian, wheelchair bound from a traffic accident that took the lives of several other classmates, for her sudden angelic persona. "I liked her so much better when she was an alcoholic crack addict," Enid snickers only minutes after the ceremony comes to a close. Later that night, they attend the senior party looking down upon every person they make eye contact with. For a moment, we're certain that they're precursors to the emo kids of the late 2000s, the classic punky teens who talk of leaving the hometown they so thoroughly despise over cartoons and discussions of crashing the local mall for no reason other than there's nothing else to do.
But, alas, Enid and Becky are much smarter than that. They're rejects who are brainier and more world-weary than almost every other kid their age. They know that they have more in the way of observation than most, but they also aren't so sure how to fashion themselves into people that are much more than cultural critics heard by no one.
At least that's how Enid feels. Nearly gothic in her appearance, she likes thrift shops and obscure blues records, and is amused by "authentic" 1950s diners set in strip malls and adult video stores. But she isn't as aware in what she fancies in terms of her future; to think of marriage or adulthood or another year is a scary unknown she'd rather not think about. She'd prefer to remain a high school senior forever, able to scoff at the imbeciles around her for the rest of her life. She thrives on the understanding that she is, intellectually, a cut above her peers.
But those days are over, and reality is setting in quickly and painfully. Despite their unbreakable bond throughout their schooling, Becky is beginning to show signs of thirsting to do more with her life - she wants to get an apartment with Enid and eventually go to any university that will take her. She's gotten a job as a barista to help pay for her hopeful endeavors. But such aspiration is disgusting to Enid, who would rather sneer her way through her existence.
To avoid thinking of the pitfalls of responsibility, she decides to wreak havoc upon the life of Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a loner who posts an ad in the newspaper seeking a mystery blond he met and liked but never got the number of. In an unthinkably cruel move, Enid and Becky respond to the advertisement and watch wickedly as he shows up for a date that will never arrive.
New for Enid, though, is a sense of guilt. She's used to making people the object of fun behind their backs, only rarely laughing at someone in front of their face. So she feels bad for the prank, later showing up at a garage sale in which he's selling antique records. To her surprise, she likes the guy - they match in their loneliness, though Enid isn't so conscious of her own despair at the moment of their first genuine meeting.
Time goes by and things grow increasingly unsteady - Enid and Becky begin to drift apart, Enid spending most of her time with Seymour in the process - and "Ghost World's" descent from self-aware teenage black comedy into viscerally desolate character study is a bruising one. It turns its back on its main characters, introducing them as whip smart girls of the "Heathers" category only to suddenly see them as susceptible misfits who don't have the thick skin their verbal lashings might suggest.
Which is what makes it the affecting film that it is: it recognizes the intelligence of its characters but never forgets that self-awareness does not always lead to satisfaction. It vocalizes the hard truth that maybe Enid and Becky's friendship is more out of school day survival than eternal adoration, that maybe Enid will never know what to do with herself, and that maybe she will end up like Seymour, who hasn't had a girlfriend in four years, works a boring day job, and obsessively collects old blues 78 RPMs because he's so incredibly alone. It's a humorous film, to be certain; but its laughs are rooted in sadness. Is it worth chuckling at things we might not, and Enid and Becky might not, be that much better than?
Directed and co-written by Terry Zwigoff, "Ghost World" is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name by Daniel Clowes. Acclaimed for its astute portrayal of modern alienation, its film counterpart matches in its lonesome inflictions. It's as blackly funny as it is emotionally devastating. There are never any obvious developments in the plot or predictable character maneuverings. Birch is wondrously droll (though I like her the most when she's at her least guarded), and Johansson is impressively dry. Buscemi is touching, and Illeana Douglas, as Enid's flighty art teacher, steals scenes with subtle deftness. Its ending leaves something to be desired - it's too vague for a movie so fully realized - but "Ghost World" is one of the best coming-of-age films ever made.
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