When us girls think of New York stories about women, we think of style and glamour. Therefore the names that come up are more likely Sarah Jessica Parker’s ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ from Sex and the City or Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffanys.
Now we meet a very unglamorous New Yorker in 27 year old Frances (played by the ever-brilliant Greta Gerwig) in the charming new indie ‘coming-of-age’ comedy-drama Frances Ha.
In fact, Gerwig’s off-screen partner Noah Baumbach (director of the comedy drama The Squid and the Whale in 2005) is actually the director of Frances Ha and they both are the co-screenwriters of this sweet and witty piece.
Baumbach chose to shoot the film completely in black and white, which almost gives it more credibility, more reality. It is beautifully shot through the streets of New York.
Frances doesn’t really have much – no stable job, no stable boyfriend, but do you know what? Frances doesn’t really care.
Frances is sort of a dancer. She is actually struggling as an “apprentice” without much talent in a dance company, yet she bounces around and is happy with her life. She has a ‘sort-of’ boyfriend, Lev (Adam Driver) and Frances chooses not to follow society’s obsession of aims and achievements, so she is happy with her lot, as plain as it is! Because of this, you cannot help but just love her for it!
Frances lives with her best friend Sophie (played by Sting’s daughter, Mickey Sumner). They share that sort of friendship that boys just can’t understand. It’s not sexual; hey just have that girly friendship that in some ways is closer than what women have with the men in their lives. They live together, hang around together, share their dessert, their secrets, lie in Sophie’s bed watching movies… most girls will know what I’m talking about!
However, one day Lev decides to dump Frances and Sophie gets serious with her boyfriend Patch who she plans to live with, so she asks Frances to move out. Frances takes this very personally, what on earth will she do now?
So Frances goes to Paris, the world’s most romantic city on her own. She suffers from jet lag and sleeps it off on her own, walks around Paris on her own, experiences the Champs Élysées on her own and then flies home on her own. This amusing scene says so much when it says so little. It is almost an undercurrent way of describing how so many of the big events in our lives are actually quite uneventful.
If you liked Breakfast at Tiffanys and/or Sex and The City, Bridesmaids and Midnight in Paris, then you are bound to like this!
Reviewed by Kirstey Whicker
Rating out of 10: 8