Film review: Frances Ha (15)
Hooray, hooray, it’s a Halli-Halliday
Friday 26 July 2013
Frances Halliday is a 27-year-old apprentice to a contemporary dance company in New York, and by her own admission "undateable" and "not a real person yet".
On paper, she is every bit as painfully self-involved, awkwardly neurotic and emotionally dysfunctional as the characters in Noah Baumbach's previous almost-comedies, The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and Greenberg.
But as played by Baumbach's current partner and the film's co-writer, Greta Gerwig, she is actually a vivacious and relatively sympathetic character, whose foibles we forgive and whose romantic idealism, instead of merely naive or delusional, seems kind of sweet or even faintly heroic.
Like Lena Dunham's sitcom Girls (and the cross-over is underlined by the casting of Adam Driver as one of Frances's flatmates), Frances Ha is steeped in the specific cultural references of twenty-something neo-boho and hipster New Yorkers. It includes such carefully observed but casually delivered lines as "This apartment is very aware of itself"; "He's a nice guy. You know – for today"; or, of smoking a cigarette indoors, "This makes me feel like a bad mother in 1987."
Like Girls, it finds pathos in the mismatch between one's youthful dreams and the disappointing reality of narrowed opportunities and missed rent payments. And like Girls, it argues that platonic friendships can be as vital, as sustaining and as complicated as romantic ones.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Tidal launch: Madonna insists Jay Z's new streaming service is 'not about consumption and greed'
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men