"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dinner and a DVD: Ghost World

Cheese ravioli comes alive in this tangy, slightly sweet tomato sauce. With its tasty mix of seasoning, spinach and beans, you won't need a side dish.

Mexican-Style Ravioli

1 package (20 oz) refrigerated cheese ravioli
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup beef broth
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Dried oregano
Salt & Pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach

Cook ravioli according to package directions. meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, beans, brown sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Drain ravioli; add to tomato mixture. Stir in spinach; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until wilted.

Featured Attraction: Ghost World

Ghost World doesn't actually start with the phrase 'our lives would never be the same after that summer' but it might as well. The film follows Enid & Rebecca in the summer after graduation in a small American town. As you might expect they get dull jobs and have troubles with relationships & parents. Enid is artistic & slightly nerdy, Rebecca more ready to embrace a 'mainstream' existence and surprise surprise this puts strains on their relationship.

Like an overlong episode of Seinfeld, but with less plot and zero punchlines, I kept waiting anxiously for the movie to begin. Maybe there's some particular tone to the "Ghost World" comic that I completely missed out on, but this is the most rambling and incoherent script that I have seen in a while. (Snippets of plot, like the Batman hat or the controversial chicken-art, simply disappear rather than being wrapped together.)

Steve Buscemi, as well as most of the supporting characters, are quite entertaining. But it felt like watching the setting for a really good movie...and the good movie never showed up.

Thora Birch's (Enid) acting? It seemed like she mastered the don't-make-a-facial-expression schtick in "American Beauty" and pushed it into overdrive here - I was unconvinced by her.

And finally, the reason why my love for this movie was limited from the beginning is that I DIDN'T LIKE the main characters. Was I supposed to be charmed by Enid's consistent, unwavering self-centeredness? Don't get me wrong, I think it can be funny to show a couple of high-school grads driving around and being bitchy to everyone. With "Ghost World," however, I just wanted them to shut up. Maybe if, at some point during the movie, they had actually DONE something I would have felt differently.

Unless you want to be really depressed or enjoy watching people screw up their, and others', lives - don't even bother to see this movie.

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