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.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 2 Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Doctor Who, Into the Dalek, TV review: Classic sci-fi adventure has blockbuster spectacle
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
The Leftovers, TV preview: Prepare to be bewildered by the latest mystery from the creator of Lost
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward