Ghost World (2001)

(In theaters, October 2001) It is a false dichotomy to separate art and entertainment, but it’s true to say that a very personal work of art can work very well on some people and not at all on others. That’s the case with Ghost World, a film of unarguable artistic ambition that simply didn’t appeal too much to me, much like Rushmore or American Beauty. It’s not a bad film per se, but I found myself strangely unaffected by it all. At some point, I really thought the film has something to say about how cheap cynicism is nothing but artificial detachment—but that might be a case of imposing my own pet peeves on another work. Suffice to say that I’m neither a teenage girl not a middle-aged geek (yet), so any appeal a relationship between these two archetypes might have didn’t reach me. The non-conclusive nature of the ending also bothered my neat Cartesian mind. While some individual scenes are hilarious (the cinema stint, for instance), the rest of the film is more uncomfortable than interesting. At least Thora Birch’s performance is less annoying than in Dungeons & Dragons.

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