James Haves’s review published on Letterboxd:
I will do my best not to rip off Adam Cook's wonderful review of this film, but I make no promises.
Frances Ha is a film that was genetically engineered to rub me the wrong way. Its characters are ironic, snarky hipsters, its shot in pointless black and white, and it generally doesn't have much of a plot.
Let's start with the characters. Oh god, the fucking characters. These are the most smug, insufferable and straight up irritating people I've seen in a while on screen. I've heard some people say, "but the film is mocking them! It pokes fun at them!", to which I would respond, "yeah? And? Deliberately annoying is still annoying!"
I have no problem with character films without much of a plot. Slice of life films. But my problem with this is that the characters learn nothing. They don't change, they don't alter, they don't seem any different from when the film started. I don't know if this is supposed to be a statement of some kind, but if the characters don't change, then to me it's pointless and there's nothing to keep me engaged.
The cinematography is admittedly very nice, as is the soundtrack, but why was it in black and white? What purpose did that serve? Pi was great in black and white because the contrast was cranked up and it gave it a chilling and nightmare-like atmosphere, like the story it was presenting. Ed Wood was great in black and white because it was focusing on a era of film that was like that, and it wanted to provoke a similar reaction and transport you back there. Why is this in black and white? What does it do that colour couldn't? It's just pretentious.
The acting matches the script pretty much, so everyone is extremely unlikable. I wanted to punch the majority of the cast in their smug little faces almost once a minute, and why they all felt the need to act like snarky shits is beyond me.
Overall...is this really the feel everyone is adoring? Like, majority 4-5 stars? 92% on RT? 7.6 on IMDb? Really? This? Well, 'mumblecore' or whatever the hell its called seems to be loved by critics right now, but I loathe it with a passion. I got The Future, then I got this. I would be perfectly happy to leave the entire genre alone and never have to deal with dreamy, 'ironic', and oh so quirky people every again. In film or in life.