Floundering through life, Greta Gerwig’s 27-year-old Frances is a walking hipster stereotype. An apprentice for a dance company even though she can’t really dance and about to lose her wonderful Brooklyn apartment when best friend Sophie moves out to live with someone else, Frances teeters on the edge, but nothing ever really goes wrong.
The privileged and immature Frances forgot to grow up, and Baumbach’s film only indulges her further. The film tries embarrassingly hard, so twee, self-gratifying and hip that it hurts.
Despite Greta Gerwig’s hard work, her character only drives the movie the wrong way too. The shortcoming in the plot become ever more apparent as the film goes on and without much of an arc Frances barely scratches the surface of character development. Boasting all the clichéd traits of an indie picture, director Noah Baumbach’s decision to shoot the movie in black and white doesn’t help fight off the pretentious overtones either.
I’m a fan of Greta Gerwig and there’s no denying she boasts the sort of natural charisma you don’t find everyday, but here she just frustratingly bumbles through the film as when we’re meant to feel sorry for her, it simply doesn’t work. Frances Ha is a self-serving, superficial experience; the quirks quickly begin to grate when it all could have been so much more. Pull out your miniature violin, Greta Gerwig’s going to need it.