My third movie of 2014 was Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012), and I absolutely adored it. It was sweet, relatable, and intellectual without being pretentious. A 27, Frances (Greta Gerwig) is happily settled into what could possibly be a life-long, post-college ambivalence of fun, friends, bumming around. She’s at a stagnancy but doesn’t quite realize it until all of her friends begin growing up around her and she gets left behind, without much ambition or inclination of what to do. Excuse the cliche, but in every way possible, Frances marches to the beat of her own drum. A standout scene for me is when she runs/dances through the streets of New York to her own theme song.
God, don’t you just want to be her?
Frances is a bit of a late bloomer compared to her best friend Sophie, who works in publishing, Rachel, the best dancer in the company Frances apprentices at, and Lev and Benji, so-called artists whose families are rich enough to support their carefree New York lives.
I loved that the film never took a negative stance on Frances. No, she doesn’t have an apartment, but it’ll be okay. No, she can’t afford to take a weekend trip to Paris on a credit card, but she’ll pay it off eventually, no worries. No, she’s not the best dancer, but she likes to do it and it makes her happy. Is there anything wrong with that? No. By the end of the movie, Frances finally does start to get things together. She learns how to grow up but still be quirky Frances. I think the most reassuring part of the film’s message is that it’s okay to be 27 and have no idea what’s going on. If you’re in your twenties are unsure about your life, watch this. It will make you feel better about your clusterfuck of an existence. Following your instincts instead of following everyone around you will get you where to you want to be, eventually. It doesn’t matter if it takes a little longer than everyone else.
Sidenote: Unexpectedly funny as hell.