Frances Ha is a sweet film about a naive, socially-awkward, daydreaming and totally irresponsible New York dancer who spirals out of control and has to learn to grow up quicksticks after she falls out with her best friend. Filmed in black and white, and with a great deal of tenderness, the story bounces from New York to Sacramento to Paris and Vassar College before landing in Brooklyn, where there’s a glimpse of Frances emerging from her all her crazies….
It’s nice, not fantastic. I spent much of the film wanting to shake dear, delusional Frances. It’s a bit similar to Greta Gerwig’s previous film, Lola Versus, which I also enjoyed. Which made me a little disappointed today to hear that Ms. Gerwig has signed to Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan, which is about “a young woman trying to make her way in New York City”. Typecast much?
Here’s a question. So, given that the TV Series Girls – 4 whimsical, twenty-something, upper echelon New York women having perpetual bad dates in an “eco-system of oddity” (thanks Peter Bradshaw) – is such a runaway critical success, why are the same critics panning the movie Lola Versus? In it, Greta Gerwig stars as Lola, a PhD student, who’s dumped before her wedding on her 29th birthday, and who compensates by a year of making nails-on-blackboard bad decisions about men, before pulling herself together a bit.
I thought it was OK. I think women probably do behave like that when they’re stressed (but what do I know?). Also I don’t need every female-led ensemble to act out like Bridesmaids; I do think there are other points of view. And yes, I do think there is probably sexism at work, in that only about 25% of male critics liked the film, compared to about 75% of female critics. Maybe Lola Versus really is the holy grail? an actual “chic flick”, by women, for women, without the male filter??
At the end of the day, I really didn’t hate it perhaps because I just find Greta endearing. As well as just inhabiting the screen with a natural kind of ease, she’s also the drop-dead spitting image of my beloved sister-in-law. Lola Versus filmed on location in New York, where it’s perpetually sunny.