I. Love. Greta. Gerwig. She stole my heart in Greenberg, where like Frances Ha, she plays an awkward, funny 20-something. And in her latest collaboration with director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), whom she actually wrote the screenplay with, her one-of-a-kind quirk has never been more admirable as her character goes through a quarter-life crisis.
Frances Ha is a funny story about the complications of relationships, growing up (like, actually growing up!), drifting apart, and living paycheck-to-paycheck in New York City. It’s about being alone, and then learning to love to be alone—to just let go and love yourself—with help from friends (and strangers!) along the way.
Shot in black and white, right away you get a very Woody Allen Manhattan-type vibe, with a lot more contemporary feel (I believe there was even a “totes” slipped in there somewhere, but I could be wrong.) Frances (Gerwig) works part-time at a dance company that’s just barely keeping her there, as finances are tight. In it for the love of modern dance, she never gives up on her dreams of becoming a choreographer, despite her boss’ constant rejection of her as an instructor. Her roommate and best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner, who, fun fact: is Sting’s daughter!) have a pretty co-dependent relationship, until Sophie starts getting serious with her boyfriend Patch (Patrick Heusinger) and moves to a different part of town with no plans of bringing Frances.
Frances, who adores Sophie (sometimes I think a little bit too much), must cope with her best friend’s absence and find a new apartment. So basically start life all over again. Until she finds something affordable, two guys Benji (Michael Zegen) and Lev (ADAM DRIVER!!!) decide to let her crash in their typically rich kid-looking flat. Becoming quickly accepted as “one of the guys,” Frances gets distracted by her crumbling reality. But while missing Sophie’s company terribly and becoming jealous overhearing her successes through the grapevine, Frances at times acts quite recklessly. But how else is a young woman trying to find herself supposed to learn to deal in this cruel, cruel world?
If you loved The Squid and the Whale, or just plain love Greta Gerwig, go see this movie (or you know, if you happen to be a woman just trying to make it)! At times, I will admit, it feels a bit “hipster-y” (like, there’s vinyl collections and vintage stuff), but nothing too overwhelming to the point you won’t love Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s story.
(photo via The Los Angeles Times)