Frances technically lives in New York City, but she doesn't really have an apartment of her own, living on the couch in another person's residence. She works as an apprentice for a dance company, but she really isn't motivated to become a dancer. Even Frances' best friend, Sophia, who she speaks endlessly about, isn't on speaking terms at the moment. Frances lacks pretty much any sense of direction but lives her life with a lightness that is very rare. Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha is a comedic film that follows this unique character through New York as she struggles to find herself. Going into the film I really expecting Frances Ha to be Baumbach's version of Andrew Bujalski's Mutual Appreciation, given the similar black and white aesthetic and thematic similarities. While Bujalski's film was profound and rich in ideas, Frances Ha goes a much lighter route. The character for Frances is a very selfish individual who really only looks at things in how they will affect her personally. While this would normally come off as a massive criticism of the film, Baumbauch, with the help of Greta Gerwig's great work, gives us a character that is so likeable and fluffy that we can't help but like her regardless. Through stretches of Frances Ha I really struggled to understand what Baumbauch's intentions were. The vapidness and lack of responsibility many of the characters have in this film are presented in a very comical way, making me wonder if Baumbauch is making fun of them or simply showcasing a class which exists in our culture. With Frances Ha I believe Baumbauch is simply presenting the early-mid 20's crisis- where individuals are naive about the world and become forced to figure out what to do with their life. Frances Ha is a very whimsical comedy, with a great witty screenplay that constantly keeps the viewer engaged. There are lots of small but brilliant comedic observations throughout the film which only Baumbach's writing can supply. It's rather skimpy in terms of insight and not very deep at all, but I'm sure many people will find it engaging and refreshing. My biggest problem with Frances Ha relates to the final 15 minutes or so, in which the film seems to wrap itself up far too easily. The film seems to suggest that Frances has figured it out but I never felt that happened in what was presented to viewer. In the end, Frances Ha is really the epitome of "white people problems", but what it lacks in profound insight to a generation it makes up for in whimsical escapism.
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