By Richelle Charkot, Special to Cinefilles
It is insane to me that Toronto’s MUFF Society is already turning one. It is also insane to me that 2015 is almost over, considering this was one of the biggest years of my life, as I finally moved out of my suburban shitty town and into the big city to try and become a real adult, in spite of all of my childish tendencies still occasionally getting in the way. (Did you know that a beer is cheaper and more fun than dinner? And that a walk-of-shame can be a great workout if you sleep at a house that’s 45 minutes away from yours?) I am so grateful for MUFF (along with many other glorious things about Toronto) and how much of a sense of belonging it has equipped me with, and I can’t wait for many more years of sparkles, buddies and awesome movies.
For our first birthday we decided we wanted to do something extra-special, so we set up a poll on our Facebook for people to vote on what should be programmed for December. Although I fiercely love all of the options we had up (um, hi, When Harry Met Sally needs to eventually be programmed at some point anyway, but you’re not allowed to look at me while I ugly-cry in the audience), I was secretly rooting for Ghost World the entire time because I love that movie far too much and sometimes just like to pretend that I’m as effortlessly cool as Enid and Rebecca.
So, Toronto, come hang out with us on December 16th and help us celebrate our first birthday! We swear we won’t make you wear goofy party hats that cramp your style, unless you’re into that sort of thing. But just in case you need a little more persuasion…..
Johansson and Birch are so ridiculously well cast in Ghost World that if someone told me the characters from the comic book were inspired by these two actresses, I would believe it without even asking questions. I don’t even know how it’s possible to deliver so much hilarious despondence without cracking a giggle or a smile, but they’re never robotic cartoon characters. The two still manage to convey very subtly that these girls had a very important bond when they were in high school, but as with most young friendships, they just began to drift apart.
Not only are the roles of Enid and Rebecca two drastically different and poignant depictions of young women, every character in this movie has an important role to play. I read somewhere that Steve Buscemi, one the of most prolific and talented actors of our time, was so uncomfortable in his role as Seymour that after shooting was over for the day, he would immediately change out of his clothing to feel comfortable again.
I watch a movie like Ghost World and I think of all of the times where I’ve felt the way the characters are feeling. I’ve felt conflicting and erratic emotions like Enid when she longs for someone to be nice to her for a few minutes, I’ve felt like Seymour when he goes on dates and can’t help but feel detached from humanity, I’ve felt like Rebecca when I used to work for Starbucks and wanted to murder everyone. Speaking of which….
“I think only stupid people have good relationships.”
“I used to think about one day, just not telling anyone, and going off to some random place. And I’d just…. disappear. And they’d never see me again. Did you ever think about stuff like that?”
“Sometimes I think I’m going crazy from sexual frustration.”
I am fairly certain that these phrases (plus a million more from this movie) have all left my mouth at one point or another in my life. Especially the coffee shop one. Seriously. If you ever for some reason want me to never shut up and just ramble angrily for a few hours, just ask me about my days as a barista when I used to stand in the corner where the camera couldn’t see me and drink coffee for eight hours.
I feel like the world needs the ‘90s and early 2000s point of view again. People should be cynical and angry and loudly scoff at everything that is wrong and ridiculous with society and with people, because the opposite (total ambivalence) is no better. All that I experienced in a small town was total ambivalence and it would make me feel sick, so coming to a bigger fishbowl like Toronto soothed me to see that people gave a shit about things. I have such a soft place in my heart for pop culture that came out of this pocket of time because it is so endowed with that punk persona that I know and love so much. Watch more movies from the early ’90s to the early 2000s! It’s good for the soul!
1) Stories about misfits are the best
Have I ever told you about when I used to be a social service worker? Although I ended up being way ill-equipped and too much of a soft-softy to help people at all, I learned a lot about human nature in that time. People want to tell their stories, people want to be understood and have other people ask questions so that they can learn about them. I love this movie for unabashedly depicting such realistic misfits, because everyone can relate to feeling a little weird and out of place sometimes, and watching a movie like this can make an audience member feel good. It’s nice to be able to say, “Hey, I’ve felt that way too. Maybe I’m not so different after all.”
Don’t miss the MUFF Society screening of Ghost World on Wednesday, December 16th at 7 p.m. only at The Carlton Cinema in Toronto. For more information about the event, CLICK HERE.