Skip to main content

The Film List Project #5: Ghost World

I always love looking through my list and coming across a movie I've always wanted to see. Ghost World was one of those movies.

I've been reading about this movie since I was 16 and started reading Rookie. Most people seem to enjoy the movie, a cult classic, for the protagonists' eccentric behavior, cynical attitudes, and Doc Martens. I loved the movie, but for an entirely different reason.

The film chronicles the transition from high school to the real world for Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). The girls plan on moving in together "somewhere downtown", but Enid refuses to get a job and starts hanging around with Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a record collector and shut in instead.

Enid starts ignoring Rebecca to admire Seymour's life, developing an obsession with getting him a date. It's clear the two see a bit of themselves in each other. When Enid calls Seymour lucky for having a room full of records and antique oddities, Seymour stresses that collecting things isn't a life in a desperate attempt to save Enid from herself.

In the meantime, Rebecca gets a job and starts looking for an apartment, maturing before Enid's very eyes. Rebecca's transformation is Enid's worst nightmare.

Enid has to face reality just like we all have to at some point. A lot of us go to college, prolonging real life, but at some point, we have to worry about getting a job, finding a place to live, buying our own furniture, and other stuff we saw our parents do during our childhood.

The transformation is scary, and the movie captures that really well. Very few people can rely on others to get a job for them and pick up their slack, a cruel fact we all have to face at some point. Some people jump right into it, like Rebecca, while others are like Enid, willing to wait forever until something better comes around and refusing to mature.

In the last scene of the film, we see Enid get on a bus. Neither she nor the audience knows where the bus is going, just like we can't predict where our life is going to go. Enid still gets on the bus, though, finally accepting that her life has to start.

This is the kind of movie I think everyone should see at the end of high school. I don't think we realize how cushioned we are. High school is definitely not the most fun place to go every weekday, but it's something we can rely on. For four years (or more), your entire life centers around the activity of this place. It's your only real responsibility.

The movie is one of the best representations of going from that one responsibility to the many that real life holds. It depicts life the way it is: funny, odd,  ever-changing, and, at points, scary.

Thanks for getting on the bus with me this week.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I'm Still Not Sure

I've tried to start this post several times over the past few weeks. For one thing, it's incredibly difficult to write after not doing so for months (seven, to be exact). It's another thing entirely to admit that I don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or who I am.

That being said, I've done it before. Two years ago, I posted a video on YouTube entitled "I'm Not Sure". Now, if you've never seen this before, I completely understand. I just watched it for the first time since I posted it, and it was cringeworthy. This is not only because it's weird to watch 20 year old me go through her YouTube phase, touch her face too much, talk with some strange inflection in her voice. Well, that's certainly part of it. Really, though, it's because nothing's changed.

At the end of the video, I say I'm grateful that I have a year and a half left of college to "figure it all out". That year and a half has passed. I gradu…

Am I Too Old for This?

When I turned 22 in August, I made the joke that I was scared to go into a Forever 21 for fear of setting off the age limit alarms. It was a bad joke. Still is.

In truth, there are a lot of things I should have outgrown: Disney movies, old cartoons, comic books, procrastination. That's not the end of the list, but those were the only things I could think of off the top of my head. One of the things I never thought would be on the list, though, was teen movies.

As I sat in the theater watching The Edge of Seventeen (fantastic movie, by the way), I realized I was five years older than the protagonist. Granted, that's not a huge age difference, but it was enough to make me realize I'm in a different place in my life than the characters in the movie for the first time in a while.

Teen movies are and have always been one of my very favorite things. I grew up wanting to be like the older characters in teen movies, then relating to the characters when I aged into their stories, a…

Talking to Myself in the Mirror

I think it's a pretty safe bet that a lot of aspiring actors/writers/directors/filmy people practice their future Oscar speech in the mirror as kids. I did. Who am I kidding? I still do. It comes with the territory. My mirror talks go, ahem, went (who am I kidding? go) further.

Sometimes, I do my makeup while talking to Barbara Walters. Other days, brushing my hair turns into a podcast interview. Most of the time, though, I rehearse what I'm going to say to my heroes. These hypothetical moments are incredibly important, and I can't afford to say anything stupid, so car rides, showers, and mornings getting ready are devoted to preparation.

This probably makes me sound crazy. The word "narcissist" may also come to mind. I think one of my heroes would have appreciated both the crazy and the narcissism in this bit of oversharing, though, but we lost her this morning.

One of my first posts on this blog was a tribute to Carrie Fisher. I read it over this afternoon after…