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"GHOST WORLD"
(2001) (Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Heavy None Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor *None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Mild Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Drama: Two disillusioned teens try to figure out their place in the world after graduating from high school.
PLOT:
Enid (THORA BIRCH) and her best friend Rebecca (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) are two disillusioned and sarcastic teens who've just graduated from high school and have no idea what they're going to be, or are supposed to do next. Hanging around a diner where the two observe and comment on others, the girls hope to get an apartment together, and enjoy irritating the boy of their dreams, Josh (BRAD RENFRO), where he works as a convenience store clerk.

Enid's home life doesn't provide her with much encouragement, as she and her dad (BOB BALABAN) don't really communicate that well, and she's not happy that Maxine (TERI GARR), her ex-stepmother, is back on the scene. Things get worse when she learns that she must attend summer school and take an art class taught by Roberta (ILLEANA DOUGLAS), to graduate, although the teacher does get her thinking about ways to better express herself through her artistic skills.

It's when Enid pulls a prank by answering a classified ad placed by Seymour (STEVE BUSCEMI), a lowly, middle-aged collector of 78 rpm recordings who's looking for a woman he earlier spotted, however, that the teen believes she's found a kindred spirit. Although she doesn't let on about her misleading him, Enid soon befriends Seymour and sets out to find him a woman who will love him for who and what he is.

After he eventually starts seeing Dana (STACEY TRAVIS) and Rebecca becomes fed up with the time she spends on him and not her, Enid soon realizes that the few friendships in her life are beginning to show strain. From that point on, and as she strives to remedy that, Enid continues trying to find her place in the world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Once older teens hear about it, they might, while fans of anyone in the cast may also be enticed into seeing it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • THORA BIRCH plays a disillusioned high school graduate who has a sarcastic and condescending attitude toward many others as she tries to find her place in the world. She does show compassion toward Seymour (with whom she eventually has sex while somewhat drunk), but lets her friendship with Rebecca wane. She also uses strong profanity.
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays her best friend who, despite sharing similar attitudes, begins to grow apart from her. She also uses strong profanity and often mentions certain men she wants to sleep with.
  • STEVE BUSCEMI plays a lonely, middle-aged record collector who's resigned himself to the fact that no one wants to date him. Enid tries to change all of that for him, and he eventually ends up sleeping with her, thus endangering his one tenuous relationship with another woman.
  • BRAD RENFRO plays an overworked convenience store clerk who hates Enid and Rebecca coming into his store to irritate him. He uses some strong profanity.
  • BOB BALABAN plays Enid's dad who's concerned about her, but has a hard time communicating with her.
  • ILLEANA DOUGLAS plays Enid's summer school art teacher who encourages her to find her own artistic voice and not be afraid to be controversial.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy/drama. Profanity is listed as extreme due to at least 24 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Various instances of sexually related dialogue are present, with some of them being explicit. A sexual encounter between a teenager and an older man occurs off camera, while their earlier exploratory trip into an adult novelty/video store shows various sex-related objects, toys and videos. A few sketches/drawings also show female nudity.

    Other drawings/artwork show controversial or violent images, while some men briefly struggle in a convenience store where the manager/owner briefly aims a gun at one man. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including that of some teenage girls toward most everyone and everything around them.

    Some people drink, a few smoke and some drug references are made. Meanwhile, some tense family moments involve a somewhat strained relationship between a teenager and her dad, while some imitative behavior is also present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present and occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A student graduation speaker mentions not needing drugs or alcohol after an accident left her in a wheelchair. After that, Enid and Rebecca talk about how they liked that girl better when she was an alcoholic and crack addict.
  • Some people have drinks at a dance/party where someone gives the above girl (in the wheelchair) a drink from a flask.
  • Seymour has a beer and others also drink at a party he throws. Later, Enid gets herself a beer.
  • Seymour has a beer while others also drink in a club.
  • Enid gets a job working the concession stand at a movie theater and a patron asks if they serve alcohol. She replies, "You wish" and then adds that he'll probably wish he had ten beers after sitting through the first several minutes of the film he's seeing.
  • Seymour and his blind date have wine.
  • We briefly see a pregnant woman walk by in the background of a shot, smoking and carrying a beer.
  • Enid opens a bottle of champagne and drinks directly from it and we then see that both her and Seymour are drinking (and the bottle is empty). The two then end up sleeping together, possibly partially the result of the alcohol.
  • Enid goes to see Seymour in the hospital and asks what he's on since he seems "stoned" (he shows her some prescription pills while saying he's high on life).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Roberta's students watch her "art" film that shows baby doll parts being thrown into a sink with what looks like fake blood on some of them.
  • We see one of Enid's drawings that shows what looks like a knife in someone's back. Later, we see another drawing that shows a person being hit on the head with a sledgehammer (with a little blood).
  • Seymour's roommate lets out a loud fart.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Enid and Rebecca have condescending or sarcastic attitudes toward many others.
  • Some guy, referring to Enid, says, "You Jews are so clever with your money."
  • Enid responds to Seymour's classified ad (to meet a woman) by leaving a message that she'll meet him at a diner. She and Rebecca then go and wait there for him, but only to make fun of him as he waits for his blind date that never shows up.
  • A shirtless man acts disrespectfully toward a foreigner/convenience storeowner (including saying something about Greece being where "homos" are/were made, etc.).
  • After a former classmate makes some comment, Enid asks, "What is she black now?"
  • Those opposed to abortion might not like a piece of artwork one girl has fashioned that's about a woman's right to choose and is comprised of various coat hangers all bent together.
  • Enid finds that Seymour has some old racist advertising for a fried chicken company (that used to be called "Coon's Chicken") that shows an old-time, stereotypical caricature of a black man. She then takes that poster and puts in on display in her classroom (after her teacher encourages the students to be controversial, and it's later put up in an art show - infuriating some visitors until it's removed).
  • Enid starts to overlook Rebecca while trying to help Seymour, thus causing Rebecca to become jealous and/or irritated about the situation, eventually making her lie to Enid about going out with some other people rather then Enid.
  • We briefly see a pregnant woman walk by in the background of a shot, smoking and carrying a beer.
  • Some may see Seymour as having both types of attitudes for sleeping with Enid, a recent high school graduate easily half his age.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Nunchukas: Briefly flipped around by a deranged man.
  • We see one of Enid's drawings that shows what looks like a knife in someone's back.
  • Some film noir artwork shows a man holding a gun to a woman's neck (like old style crime movies).
  • Gun: Pointed by a convenience store owner at a troublemaker.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you (too)," "What a f*cking monster," "F*ck up(s)," "Johnny f*ck face," "F*ck it," "F*ck everybody," "Where the f*ck is she?" "Bullsh*t," "Oh, sh*t," "Sh*thole," "D*ckhead," "You c*nt," "What a bunch of retards," "Loser," "Shut up," "Homo," "Pissed off," "Clueless dork," "Creeps," "Little miss bad ass," "Dufus," "Jeez," "Sucks," "I totally, totally hate you," "Chick" (woman), "Bitch," "Retards," "Bitching" (cool), "What a dork," "Nuts" (crazy), "What the hell is wrong with you?" and "Freak out."
  • Some kids could be enticed to imitate Enid and Rebecca's sarcastic attitudes toward others and life.
  • Enid and Rebecca give "the finger" to their school after graduation.
  • Enid tears up a notice and throws it to the ground.
  • Enid responds to Seymour's classified ad (to meet a woman) by leaving a message that she'll meet him at a diner. She and Rebecca then go and wait there for him, but only to make fun of him as he waits for his blind date that never shows up.
  • Enid briefly sports a multi-colored dye job in her hair.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of such music plays in an art film that Roberta shows her students.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, although a rap song had lyrics that couldn't be understood (thus offering the possibility of it containing something potentially objectionable).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 24 "f" words (1 used sexually and seen written in the same context), 4 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("c*nt" and "p*ssy"), 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ckhead"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 10 asses (8 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 1 damn, 23 uses of "God," 12 of "Oh my God," 8 of "Jesus," 3 each of "G-damn" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • While at a party and spotting a couple there, one of the girls mentions that the guy will probably get AIDS when he date rapes her.
  • While following an older couple they believe to be Satanists (for no reason other than just thinking that), Enid and Rebecca talk about what one does if they're such a person. One then comments that you probably sacrifice virgins, prompting the other to say that lets them off the hook.
  • Talking about some comedian, Rebecca tells Enid that she wants to "do him."
  • After getting into a brief argument with a shirtless construction worker in his store, the manager says "F*ck you," causing the shirtless guy to say that he has to buy him dinner first.
  • After seeing an odd guy working in a diner, Rebecca states that she wants to "make love" to him. Enid then jokingly threatens that she's going to tell the man, but Rebecca stops him.
  • Talking about Josh, Enid states that she bets he's in there "jerking off," causing Rebecca to reply that she doesn't think he ever "jerks off." Enid then leaves a note for him (which we also see written), as if written by two other girls, that they came by to "f*ck you," but that since he wasn't home, he's therefore gay.
  • We see one of Enid's drawings that shows a woman's bare breasts.
  • Some nerdy, middle-aged men talk at a party about one "not getting any" and the other replies "Neither are you." The one man then says that you can't "score a home run without swinging a bat. All right? It's physically impossible."
  • Seymour's roommate says that he knows Seymour's not "getting any."
  • Still at this party, Enid overhears Seymour talking to a record collector about records and then later asks Seymour about the comments they made about "large holes and tight cracks" (sexual innuendo).
  • Trying to cheer up Seymour about not having a girlfriend in the past several years, Enid says she'll help him and that "By the end of the summer, you'll be up to your neck in p*ssy." She later asks if he's into girls with "big t*ts."
  • We see a woman showing lots of cleavage.
  • Enid makes Seymour accompany her into an adult book and novelty store (he's uncomfortable doing so). Inside, they see all sorts of videotapes and sexual paraphernalia (including a sex doll with open mouth and other sex "companion" pieces that show simulated female full frontal nudity). She can't believe what she's seeing and asks who would have sex with that thing.
  • A girl comments on having a "boner" for some guy and Rebecca states that she sometimes thinks she's going crazy from sexual frustration. Enid then asks if she's heard of the miracle of masturbation.
  • A man stares at a waitress' clothed butt as she walks by.
  • While having a yard sale, Enid tells a woman that a certain dress is the one she was wearing when she lost her virginity.
  • Talking to Seymour while he's still on a blind date, Enid asks if he's going to have sex on his first date with this woman.
  • Enid shows some cleavage.
  • Enid and Seymour kiss and we then see them after they've had sex (him with his arm around her, and stating that he never expected this). We don't see any nudity or activity.
  • We see a sketch in Enid's drawing pad that shows female full frontal nudity.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous person smokes while we briefly see a pregnant woman walk by in the background of a shot, smoking and carrying a beer.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A miscellaneous person smokes while we briefly see a pregnant woman walk by in the background of a shot, smoking and carrying a beer.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Enid and Rebecca's attitudes toward others.
  • The transitional period after graduating from high school or college into the real world.
  • How some friendships wane over time.
  • The various pieces of "art" that the various students create, including one about abortion (a tangle of coat hangers) and another showing a tampon in a teacup. Some film noir artwork shows a man holding a gun to a woman's neck (like old style crime movies) while his other hand is over her mouth, while an old poster shows an old-time, stereotypical caricature of a black man.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see one of Enid's drawings that shows what looks like a knife in someone's back. Later, we see another drawing that shows a person being hit on the head with a sledgehammer (with a little blood).
  • Upset at how things have turned out, Seymour tries to overturn a display in a convenience store, but can't, while another man grabs him around the neck to control him. The owner, who's already had to put up with this other man, grabs a gun and points it at him.



  • Reviewed July 20, 2001 / Posted August 3, 2001

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