Frances Ha
  • Frances Ha

After I wrote about the similarities between Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight and Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy the other day, I thought again about Frances Ha, another recent American film that references classics of European cinema. I’ve gotten some flak for my short review of Frances, and I can understand why. In it I come off as a regular old sourpuss, harping on the film’s style and selling short its astute observations about postcollegiate life. I also failed to mention some of its other virtues, like the screwball rhythm of the dialogue, Greta Gerwig’s winning lead performance, and director Noah Baumbach’s knowing way of depicting class envy and other forms of insecurity (a consistent strength of his work). This is not a frivolous movie; I just can’t get on board with it.