Frances Ha (2012)

Rates: * * * * *

Why Did I Watch It? Bought it on blu ray,and with the world coming to an end I felt like something cheery.

Cast, crew, etc

Frances lives, loves and laughs in New York, at least when she can afford it. A professional dancer a few years out of college, but a few years short of career traction, she is fully IN the moment: drifitng happily from day to day, not worrying about the future too much. But change is coming to this haphazard existance.

Frances, played with guileless perfection by Greta Gerwig, has reached that limbo land that can be your late twenties. Abdandoned by her best friend (who has moved in with her bf), and struggling to ger her career as a professional dancer going, Frances plunges into a young life crisis; working crappy jobs, suffering endless minor humiliations, constantly short of money, forever on the lookout for a place to live.

But, you know, chin up.

And despite her reversals, Frances IS upbeat, she is funny, she gets out there and she tries things. She is indominatable. She can also be moody, and grumpy, and occasionally, a bit of a jerk. And part of what I enjoy about this is how well rounded this character is; she is awesome, and flawed, just like everybody else.

These ups and downs in her character are mirrored by the ups and downs in her most important relationship; with her bestie, Sophie. The characters hang out, they goof off, they have fun…. and then they fight and say mean things to each other. And then! They make up in spectacular fashion over the phone, and Frances says ‘I love you Sophie’ and hangs up. Later, they fight some more.

This is a movie, partly, about the power of a good friendship, and how your very best friends have a value that could never be underestimated.

And what about the title?

I remember seeing this movie at the cine and thinking how much I enjoyed it, but also…. why ‘Frances Ha’? I mean, the ‘Ha’ had not been explained. And then also thinking, well maybe this is a metaphor for how the character sees the world? Like, she doesn’t take things seriously.

Or! Maybe that she is learning to take things seriously, or with a grain of salt or something. Like, trouble? Ha!

And while I was thinking all of this, the ‘Ha’ WAS explained, only you have to wait until the very, very final shot of the movie, to see what it is.

And this reveal is…. now something I think about all the time. Especially every time I hear David Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’, but especially any other time when I feel like I need a lift.

Which is to say: I love the ending of this movie. And I love the rest of it too.

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