Frances Ha

Frances Ha ★★★★

Out of the blocks Frances Ha was on shaky ground. In the establishing scenes where Frances’ relationship with her best friend and roommate Sophie, and then her boyfriend are exposed, I felt like I was watching an entry level student film. Everything was too forced, too fast, and too unnatural. If this is representative of the mumblecore movement, I’m not buying it.

Then, not immediately but rather gradually, Frances began to charm me. This started happening around the time she moved in with Dan and Lev. Perhaps it’s because I’ve lived this exact type of roommate experience during my twenties, as many have. My roommates and I were these people. You forgive a level of quirkiness and irresponsibility; you take offence at things that you would let slide later in life. You have a special bond. You take ill considered risks, just because they seem like the thing to do. Sometimes you regret it, but more often than not it becomes a fond memory, and a funny story often recounted later in life.

Frances’ imperfections are handled as well as her charms and goodness. She’s joyous, yet frail. Determined, yet misguided. Needy, yet proud. In other words, pretty real.

There were a few other incidents that knocked me out of the moment, but by that time I was hooked. Although this genre of films don’t really strive to espouse a message, my takeaway is that you may not know what your dreams really are, and how close you are to making them real. With a little help, and a little thought, you can.

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