*Absolutely does contain spoilers.* *Absolutely does contain spoilers.* *Absolutely does contain spoilers.*
Graduating high school is a rite of passage that truly forces people to question and pursue their future. It is the first real turning point in your young life that allows you to make decisions for yourself and to begin living the dreams you have kept stored in your head, as you happily or painfully go through the monotony that is high school. This is the exact point in life Enid and Rebecca find themselves, fresh out of high school staring life in the face… sort of.
After surviving the torture that was high school best friends Enid (played by Thora Birch) and Rebecca (played by Scarlett Johansson) face what life has to offer when class is no longer in session; enjoying things like hanging out in restaurants, getting jobs, and discovering a bit about the people who live in their slightly washed up town. As the number of days after graduation increase the two friends each begin to realize the plan they had, to graduate and move into an apartment together, may be a dream of the past.
Rebecca very much wants to move out of her parents and into an apartment with Enid as they have always planned. She really is looking forward to working and living on her own, in an average neighborhood, living a typical “adult” life. Enid on the other hand seems to be a bit more uncertain about her future, stuck between the planned “normal” life with her best friend and a life that develops from an adventure.
Things begin to get interesting when Enid and Rebecca stumble upon a “missed connections” ad in a local news paper, and decide to track down the author. This serves as a much-needed adventure for Enid giving her time to think about what she wants to do with her life. It is during this adventure she meets Seymour. Seymour (played by Steve Buscemi) is an “amusingly cranky eccentric” middle-aged music loving man who lives his life exactly the way he wants to without apologizing or caring what others think. He finds the company of most people completely unbearable.
After Enid meets Seymour things begin to change and everything she once knew for certain has become an idea of the past, the movie continues to follow the adventure that takes place between the three characters.
Enid: a recent graduate finds herself stuck and completely unsure about what type of life she wants to pursue. She struggles with a lack of appreciation for most people, finding “normal” people appalling and quirky people tolerable in an entertaining sense. She understands exactly what she does not like and is happy to voice her opinion on any matter. She is very much and old soul, and does not get along well with many people her own age. She finds conforming to the standard after graduation “going business school” life appalling. Despite knowing exactly what she does not want in life she struggles to identify what she wants and who she wants to be. She is constantly changing her look in an attempt to find herself, and bounces back and forth between having the planned life with Rebecca and the developing life with Seymour. You get the sense that she starts to feel normal and a bit comfortable in life when she meets Seymour, a middle-aged guy who lives exactly how he wants without caring what others think of him, even though it at times this leaves him feeling alone. A relationship quickly develops between Enid and Seymour, one that seems to help her decide the direction she would like her life to take. She really connects with him a great deal; enough in fact reveal to him her #1 fantasy, which she eventually lives out.
Rebecca: Enid’s best friend from high school is the type of person who knows what she wants out of life and is content to work towards it. Right after graduation you can see Rebecca move on as she gets an adult” apartment, in an average neighborhood. She is content with who she is and has a style that is very normal and clean compared to Enid’s. She still has contempt for most people like Enid, but is willing to simply ignore them an move on. Rebecca finds herself struggling to appreciate the continued quirkiness of Enid, and tries very hard to get her to continue with their after graduations plans of living together. She sees that Enid is pulling away and although it bothers her a great deal she recognizes that it might be for the best. The two girls continue to grow apart as Enid becomes consumed by her attraction to Seymour; a subject Rebecca on a several occasions voices her opinion about.
Seymour: is stuck in the past by the things he appreciates and despite his lack luster life he is content. He surrounds himself by things from the past; classic refrigerator, original (now vintage) furniture, classic telephone, and vintage records because he has a deep appreciation for things that are original and unchanged. He has a difficult time relating to people as they tend to not fully appreciate the things he is passionate about. His life is flipped upside down after Enid steps in. She becomes the force that pushes him to change a little, she pushes him to pursue a woman (Dana) who happened respond to his “missed connection” ad in the local news paper. He and Dana begin dating and it is during their relationship you get the sense that Seymour is beginning to settle, that he is accepting Dana’s lack of appreciation for good music and movies, for his “old things,” and that she is slowly starting to change him. Enid also catches on that Seymour is pulling away from her and is starting to change who he is for Dana; it is after this that Enid and Seymour’s relationship is taken to a new level. Seymour then realizes that he is able to be himself around Enid, and that she cares from him in a way that Dana does not.
Long story short this a fantastic movie, slated as a dark comedy and based on Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel of the same name, it keeps you interested from start to finish. It provides a good number of opportunities to laugh your ass off at situations you only find funny because you have been in the same position a few hundred times and can completely relate. Both Buscemi and Birch were nominated for and won several best actor/actress awards including a Golden Globe nomination for both. The movie was also nominated for and won several awards including Best Adapted Screenplay at the 74th Academy Awards, Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and Writers Guild of America for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In addition to the fantastic screenplay this movie has a soundtrack that cannot go unmentioned, it is the type of soundtrack that really drives the story along, and helps you understand the characters (as a soundtrack should). Maybe it is just me and my appreciation for traditional jazz, blues and ragtime among other genres, but here are two featured songs worth listening to on their own.
That’s it, enjoy it when you watch it.