A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Ghost World

October 26, 2011

Ghost World

I love absolutely everything about the first two thirds or so of this movie. I bought it for Thora Birch, and she is awesome. I also bought it because it was based on an indie comic book, and it has that strange quality to it, which I also enjoy. It has Steve Buscemi, who is always cool. There are parts of this movie that feel like almost a live action Daria – full of cynicism and angst.

On the other hand, this movie is pretty painful to watch. The character that Thora Birch plays, Enid, is so completely jaded that she ends up being pretty nasty to just about everybody. She’s bitter and mean, often without really meaning to be. Over the course of the movie she befriends an eccentric loser that she starts the movie tormenting and ultimately she proceeds to destroy his life.

At the start of the movie Enid and her best friend Rebecca graduate from high school, with all the social awkwardness that such an event holds for a pair of cynical girls who are too smart to really be dealing with high school peers. They have no plans to go to college, instead they intend to move into an apartment together and live their own quirky life. They spend their time being snarky, following strangers and making fun of them, and generally trying not to be a part of the pathetic suburban lives of everybody around them.

I fully understand that aloof angst, and although Enid is fairly cruel a lot of the time there’s a good amount of humor in seeing the way she dismisses the shallow world she finds herself inhabiting. In general Rebecca is the stable one of the two and Enid is a the instigator who thinks it would be hilarious to follow that strange looking couple or prank call some guy who placed a desperate singles ad.

So Enid calls the guy and pretends to be the woman he saw one day on a bus and watches as he sits sadly waiting for the woman to show up. After that she follows the guy home and eventually discovers that he’s actually kind of cool in his own pathetic and lonely kind of way. He collects all kinds of cool kitchy stuff. Old timey records (he has a collection full of items that are one of only two known remaining copies for example) and pictures and posters – everything in his apartment has a sort of patina of things left over from a lost age.

Enid befriends Seymore because, really, he’s just so awesome. She spends a lot of the movie hanging around with him. Going to his awkward record collector party. Trying to fix him up with women. Throwing him a birthday party. He ends up with a kind of crush on her, which she doesn’t really understand because she’s so caught up in being miserable about her own life.

Amanda found this movie almost physically painful to watch. I fully understand why, too, because it’s all about depression and embarrassment, or at leas appears to be for huge swaths of the movie. I find it hard as well. At the same time, however, I love these characters, and the actors that play them, so much that I can’t stop watching because these are the kind of people I’d like to spend my time with. My best friend in college, Christine, was basically a less depressive version of Enid. She had that same love for kitch and that same inability to say no to the craziest of impulses. I suppose that most of the reason I enjoy this movie is that it reminds me of the adventures Christine would drag me into back in those days. It’s a nostalgia thing.

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October 26, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

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