reibureibu’s review published on Letterboxd:
I first watched this movie at a dollar theater with a bunch of friends in high school and up to that point we had seen stuff like The Lorax, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Olympus Has Fallen, so I was expecting something on that wavelength of Hollywood blockbusters and was not prepared for a black and white mumblecore movie centered on mid-20s ennui and a search for meaning in one's relationships.
I remember walking out of the movie and into the parking lot with a feeling of awe, but one that doesn't really hit you in any recognizable way. I just knew that this movie affected me in ways I was unable to verbalize at the time and could tell it was something special that I needed to cherish even if I couldn't really talk about it. Regardless it'd be something that'd come to shape me and how I approach friendships – Frances's monologue was just that powerful.
Rewatching it after college was entirely-different, but allowed me to really see how much more depth it has now that I had some of Frances's life experience. Suddenly everything was relatable, everything felt like Baumbach had presaged my young adulthood, that he had essentially captured the essence of liberal colleges and their post-grad experiences and anxieties and freedoms into one, neat, 90-something minute film. It's odd to see just how much your own experience is one that will be mirrored by many others, but at the same time surprisingly validating and a reassurance that everything will turn out okay.
"I'm so embarrassed. I'm not a real person yet."
By the way, I highly recommend watching it with a close friend from college so you two can comment and commiserate and carp about how scarily-relatable it all is and have a quarter-life crisis together. It's a good bonding moment.