"I'm horrible! Isn't that funny?! Write that down!"
I probably should have skipped Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach's black and white showcase of a total fucktard. I do not like Greta Gerwig, and, I admit, I have no idea why. There are very few performers whose presence makes me want to wretch, but Gerwig's is one of them. My feelings towards Gerwig are similar to my feelings towards Julianne Hough. Or broccoli--if I were an 8 year-old boy. I LOVE Baumbach, though. The Squid and the Whale is one of my all-time faves. Frances Ha feels like Baumbach's mid-life crisis.
I should probably warn you that this might contain spoilers. I can't help myself from spoiling something when I hate it.
Gerwig plays Frances, a modern dance apprentice who lives with her best friend Sophie in New York City. You see, they are best friends. BEST FRIENDS! Frances constantly says, "We're the same person, but with different hair." I find this statement alarming. Single White Female-ish even. Sophie is the hipster-est hipster that ever hipsted. She has these huge glasses that would even embarrass Sally Jesse Raphael. This immediately took me out of the movie. The combination of Sophie's eyewear and her ugly sweaters made me immediately want to punch every character in the junk. Frances and Sophie sleep together in the same bed (bestiiieeees!!!) and smoke cigarettes on the fire escape and talk about how they are going to earn "SO MANY honorary college degrees." I hate them and their dreams.
Sophie eventually tells Frances that she is going to move in with her boyfriend Patch (because his name couldn't be John or Bill or Sam or even Seamus, for fuck's sake), and this sort of begins Frances's downward spiral. Frances can't afford to live in her apartment alone, so she has to move out. At the age of 27, Frances isn't getting enough work as an apprentice in her dance company. Fingers crossed that she will be asked to become a member of the company. Because that's realistic. I am giving you a finger Frances, but you won't like it. She moves in with Benji (Michael Zegen) and Lev (Adam Driver), two guys who should seriously consider making out and putting it online. That way they could make more money and not have Frances live with them. By the way, who names these characters?! Benji? Lev? AHHHH!!! SOOOOO HIPSTER!!!
Benji is a writer who is working on some samples for SNL. He doesn't work, and relies on his parents. Ungrateful little turd. I am not exactly sure what Lev does. All I remember is him bringing back skanky girls to bang him. Driver should also only be shot in black and white, by the way. I thought he was strangely hot on Girls, but he looks normal in this and I like him better. Benji constantly tells Frances that she is undateable, which is really rude. If I was a girl that couldn't figure out what to do with her life and was only mindly attractive, I would punch every Tom, Dick and Harry who called me undateable. Frances is paying less rent for living on the boys' couch, but when the Christmas dance show comes around, she will be making more cash. Oh, wait. No, she won't because she is then told that she isn't going to be in the Christmas show.
What's a semi-attractive girl to do?! Move again! Silly, mumblecore Frances! Look how hilarious it is for her to move from place to place! You know what, I am not even going to recount the whole movie, because it makes me angry. The moral of the story is this: don't be a fucktard and figure out what you're doing with your life. I lack a lot of direction because I don't know what I want to do with my life, but the moment I slightly resemble Frances, I expect everyone to collectively throw me in front of a bus. The fact that this movie is met with such critical acclaim frustrates me.
I tried to like Gerwig in this movie, but she makes it really hard for me. I don't think she's funny, I don't think she exudes charisma, and I don't want to watch her play a lost and confused character ever again. A story circulated around that Baumbach emailed Gerwig asking her to explain what people in their twenties are going through. Allegedly, she emailed him a massive reply back that was around 30 pages long. People in their twenties aren't going through that much, honey. You're making it up. Overanalyzing it. Just making it complicated for yourself and translating it into a pretentious screenplay that features lines like this:
"Will you tell me the story of us?"
"I don't know how you don't like him. He's magic."
"He's an artist at transporation."
What I think is funny is that I hated this movie for the exact same reason that everyone else hates HBO's Girls. I love that show, but everyone in this is vaslty more obnoxious. No character in this read remotely real or sympathetic.
"Blah blah blah I don't know how to describe what I do for a living, because I don't really do it blah blah blah I smoke American Spirit cigarettes blah blah blah I have no direction but my parents will pay my rent while I try to option a script for Gremlins 3 blah blah blah I am so meta and hipster! I bet everyone will love my Gremlins 3 joke blah blah blah..." I couldn't even appreciate that it was in black and white. It just made me want to watch Manhattan.
You're not lost Frances, you're just bullshit.