Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Micky Sumner
Director: Noah Baumbach
Running Time: 86 mins
Frances Ha is an American film about a New York woman, without an apartment, working for a dance company, even though she’s not a real dancer, who fills her life with pleasure by throwing herself into her dreams with no worries.
This film is very nice. It’s a refreshing take on the modern lifestyle, particularly in big metropolitan cities, showing that despite the orderliness with which the majority of people live their lives nowadays, it is possible to have some success while, more importantly, having a lot of fun.
The main character, Frances Halliday, is delightful. Played fantastically by Greta Gerwig, she’s shown to be a little bit innocent, not the brightest bulb in the bunch, but is the eternal optimist, and always throws herself at every eventuality with a willing and positive attitude, and seeing as that’s quite a rare thing to see, it’s definitely refreshing.
She is clumsy, a little bit overlooked by some of her ‘grown-up’ friends, and occasionally a little unsure as to how to fit in to the world, however, those sort of foibles not only make her a more realistic character, you also see her to be incredibly nice and strong-willed, which makes it so brilliantly easy to support her every step of the way.
Frances isn’t the only thing that makes this film so nice, however, there’s a heap of good comedy, a relatively farcical story, and while there are some harsher reality-checks throughout, it is largely enjoyable to watch.
The comedy starts the film off brilliantly, bringing Frances to your heart within seconds, and constantly entertaining you as all of the characters and the situations are established. However, as the film gets a little bit more real towards the end, the comedy begins to die out, and while it was great early on in the film, I struggled to laugh or really enjoy it in the latter stages.
The story is also a case of two halves. There’s one story line which is quite messy and farcical, mirroring the nature of Frances’ life, while another that talks about how optimism and being nice may not get you through the world so easily. You can see that the latter tries to push over the former story line throughout, but, luckily, it never succeeds, which means that this film does remain a lot happier than truly real all the way through.
The only big problem with this film was the fact that it wasn’t really inspiring enough. It’s giving a message about how to live your life, however apart from Frances, all of the characters and situations seem quite distant, and you never get a real connection with the film, meaning that you’re impacted less by the differences in lifestyle of the various characters.
Overall, this gets a 7.2, because although it wasn’t particularly inspiring or truly impressive, it’s largely a nice, enjoyable and interesting film to watch.