Filmmaker Terry Zwigoff, who enjoyed breakthrough success with his 1994 documentary Crumb, shifts gears as he examines the lives of two young women on the verge of leaving their adolescence behind in his first dramatic feature. Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) are two close friends who've just graduated from high school, and are trying to decide what to do with their lives. Enid is a dark-haired arch cynic who is tired of living at home with her ineffectual dad (Bob Balaban) and his annoyingly perky girlfriend Maxine (Teri Garr), while Rebecca is prettier and a bit cheerier, but no more certain about her future. While the two girls have vague plans of getting an apartment together, they seem content to while away their summer hanging out and indulging in their shared infatuation with Josh (Brad Renfro), a friend from school who works at a convenience store and doesn't seem to be especially attracted to either of them. Enid discovers that in order to get her diploma, she'll have to take an additional class over the summer, where she winds up studying art with Roberta (Illeana Douglas), who is determined to encourage Enid's creative impulses, whether Enid likes it or not. More significantly, Enid meets Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a geeky record collector more than twice her age, and while they would seem to have little in common (and Rebecca thinks he's a creep), Enid discovers a kindred spirit in fellow misfit Seymour, who shares her disgust with the world around them, and a relationship begins to develop between the two. Ghost World is based on the award-winning graphic novel by comic artist Daniel Clowes, who also wrote the film's screenplay.
by Mark Deming synopsis