|It's Ghost World and not the Apes....
...that have drawn the Mairianne Nowottny and Donnna Bailey (Shell) comparisons.
Way to go Bill, that was on my to do, to ask list, but had forgtten until you posted, while here doing laundry, anyone seen Ghost World?
Very funny (and sad) movie. Of course the beauty in American Beauty was Thora Birch, not the blond girl, and she (Thora) is great in GW. David Denby's review is as usual, off the mark. Here's a reply, by way of annotation [caution, spoilers!]:
After setting up the terrain, the filmmakers zero in on Enid's unhappiness. We see her as defensive and lost, a girl as incoherent in her emotions as any other teen-ager. She mucks around in Seymour [Steve Buscemi]'s life, breaking up a love affair he's having, out of the sheer need to assert herself. Actually she befriends him, and then--one night after they've had too much to drink--sleeps with him, an action she instantly regrets. Seymour breaks up "the love affair he's having" on his own initiative, because he knows the woman is a ditz. In other words, "Ghost World" becomes a different, more conventional movie—a movie about a girl who makes jokes to cover her pain and who needs to grow up. Actually it never stops being a movie about a bright, creative girl surrounded by morons and assholes. But, if the film has entered a psychologically accountable world, then there's no longer any reason—any excuse—for a dimension of life to be missing from it. "No excuse"? How prissy. "Psychological accountability" is VERY important to Denby. If a filmmaker doesn't include it, he'll find it somehow. The scenes of Enid's unhappiness seem underwritten, merely eccentric and dry, and paced far too slowly. The comic spirit drains out of the movie; Aaaw... the flatness now seems a kind of impoverishment. "Ghost World" assumes an almost parental concern for Enid's state. It allows her to fall to the bottom, then it saves her. Sure, if being "saved" means losing your friends, your apartment, your job, and a scholarship. The movie even suggests that she has a destiny, right, if "destiny" means getting on a bus with no place to go but "elsewhere" and this is an unwelcome surprise, since most of us would wish no other future for Enid the brilliant comic-book invention but to be herself, a hilariously morose teen-ager, forever and ever. Which is pretty much exactly what happens.
David Edelstein's review is better; he writes about the movies on the screen rather than the ones he thinks he saw.
Who compared Shell to the apes?