Given Warner Brothers is still busy trying to convince everyone (including themselves) that this is the Summer of Gatsby, it seems oddly relevant that it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who once wrote, “New York forgot us and let us stay.” Of course this only seems relevant considering Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby falls so incredibly short of Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha – a fantastic New York film that is essentially about the distance between our dreams and our realities, as well as the mundane if-not-wholly-satisfying existence we settle into long after the gilded city has had its way with us.
The story here is translated in old-fashion black and white, with subtle nods and title cards thrown in for equal measure. Frances Ha is a film co-written by Greta Gerwig, starring Greta Gerwig, playing a character who is very similar to Greta Gerwig. And those are all incredibly fortuitous things, to be sure. It’s been a worthwhile ascent for the 29-year-old Gerwig, lo, these past few years, hopscotching from a Whit Stillman project to a Woody Allen project, with a little bit of television in between. But this… this film … this Frances Ha … this is the movie that will catapult not only Greta Gerwig, but also her current love interest, critically-acclaimed Director Noah Baumbach.
The bottom line: You really should make time to go and see this Frances Ha. And you should make a point of seeing it in a very dark old movie theater … preferably one that has an intimate projection screen and only accepts cash. You’ll love it in the same way people once loved Woody Allen’s Manhattan. And you’ll love it for a lot of the very same reasons.
(Frances Ha opens in limited release today, with a rollout in most major cities to follow.)