Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★★

Greta Gerwig is incredibly likable. Just want to throw that out there.

Frances Ha is about life. It's another of those films starring a 20-something year old person drifting around without solid plans. The way people describe these movies, I usually expect the protagonist to be a useless blob like myself, but I've been fooled again! We get every indication that Frances is trying, and she's genuinely talented at dancing; she just gets tossed around by the precarious nature of employment, expensive housing, and ever-changing relationships. It feels true to life, edited and written well to cover a ton of ground in a short time without breaking the flow. I can't say I've ever really known people like this, but I didn't grow up in an urban environment or near many artistic types. Basically, the writing is clever, perhaps at times a little heightened, though it never truly feels artificial or too scripted. It's just a bit of a different world than what I'm accustomed to.

Despite how it may sound, it's not really the Lament of the Aimless Millennial or anything so dour. It's a fun movie about people wringing what life and energy they can out of their limited times here. Relationships and friendships are a painful source of stress, in constant need of management, and some of the only things so beautiful that they make the bad times worth enduring. Anyone who seems to have things figured out is just putting on a show. It's ok, make some mistakes, be an indecisive mess sometimes, just find a way to enjoy yourself. What's great about Frances Ha is that it centers nearly entirely on a woman struggling to hold down a job, failing to keep a consistent place to live, getting saddled with debt, and yet it never really feels like it's about those things. Obviously there's a place for exploring the serious tragedy of those events, but this movie isn't it. This is about the moments that happen in between "serious life events." You aren't your job or your house, no matter how much the world tries to say you are.

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