Frances Ha Movie Review
Movie critics love them some Greta Gerwig. They also love them some Noah Baumbach. Following their collaboration in the so-so Greenberg, the two have reunited for Frances Ha, an entertaining and sincere drama-comedy about a young woman trying to find her way in life.
Which describes just about every Greta Gerwig movie I've seen.
Of course, most moviegoers don't know who Greta Gerwig is, and they don't care. The same could be said for Baumbach, whose best movie is the overlooked 2005 dramedy The Squid and the Whale. And while Frances Ha is a very good movie, it's also one of those movies that doesn't carry much long term wait - nor a hook to dry the average moviegoer in.
Gerwig turns in a fine performance as the slightly neurotic twenty-something title character, who meanders from situation to situation seeking love, not just from men but from friends who are moving on with their lives. Frances Ha isn't particularly funny, but it's generally lighthearted and whimsical. At only 86 minutes, the movie is breezy, fast-paced and entertaining.
The movie loses a bit of its edge in the third act as Baumbach, who also wrote the movie with Gerwig, brings things full circle. The problem is that the even-keeled screenplay doesn't present much of a dramatic arc to begin with, so when all is said and done you can only shrug and say, "That was good."
Frances Ha is more than good, but only just. Movie critics love this film for a reason, but there is less for the average moviegoer to get excited about. I'm somewhere in the middle, and so I'll "That was good" and move on with my life.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.