“Frances Ha!” (2013) – Frances (Greta Gerwig) is a genuine soul.
This 20-something New York City bohemian simply loves what she loves, and her roommate Sophie (Mickey Sumner) and dancing are the objects of her affection. They have been best friends since college, and they share all their secrets, commiserate about bad sex with old boyfriends, play backgammon, and play-fight. Play-fight? Apparently, play-fighting is really “fun”, and the occasional fake tussle is part of their routine.
What are best friends for?
When Frances isn’t plotting – with Sophie – to take over the world, she soaks up her passion for dance at a said company. She’s working as an understudy but feels so, so close to landing her big break. Life is good, but her world suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.
For a majority of the 86-minute film, writer/director Noah Baumbach throws major speed bumps on the freeway of Frances’ ideal existence and sends our lead character on a crazy and winding trip down What is Happening to My Life? Lane. Gerwig, who also co-wrote the script, is a refreshing and completely hilarious wonder, as Frances tries to get back on track but continually flounders by choosing a free-spirited path, the one direction that she knows. Almost always, she makes the wrong decision, but at least she creates a memorable road on the way to self-discovery.
This marvel of a comedy, shot entirely in black and white, is a modern-day classic, and Gerwig – without question – gives the most satisfying lead female comedy performance of 2013.
Image credits: IFC Films; Trailer credits: Movieclips Indie