Something to say about Frances Ha

I’m operating at the moment on the principle that it is better to write nothing than to fill up blog feeds and the interwebs with uninspired posts. Cath has written a very eloquent and poetic post on Wintering, and I could just say touché to that. We were talking about this phenomenon and as it applied to blogging the other evening. (Cath and I originally became friends through blogging – I like to tell people “we met on the internet”-  and we never fail to be able to talk for hours.)

On the weekend we went and saw the movie Frances Ha. I basically had no idea what I was going to see (I trust the judgment of those who persist in reading this blog) and found it pleasantly entertaining as a “friendship comedy” (what do you call a romantic comedy that isn’t romantic?).

As you may already be predicting, it is the story of two friends, one of whom is particularly struggling as a 27-year-old to find the course of her life. From one aspect, it is a moving portrayal of female friendship (though at times you are left wondering as to the nature of that friendship, as I wasn’t sure what the final scene was trying to say, but no spoilers here). From another aspect it is sadly dysfunctional, with one friend clinging in over-dependence to the friendship while the other is moving her life onwards independently (I think we are meant to observe this imbalance and dysfunction). Several times in the movie Frances says of herself and Sophie “we are the same person”, which is not, as we know, the most psychologically helpful way of referencing a friendship. I also felt that the intensity of the friendship was more akin to teenagers than women in their 20s, yet this too was, I think, part of what we were meant to understand (I read it somewhere described as a “coming of age film about a woman”) as we heard numerous references the immaturity of Frances.

It was both good and sad to walk along with these two women as they disentangled their college friendship and learned how it could function and flourish while they grew into independent women, no longer “the same person” yet retaining what was best about their friendship. I enjoyed it. Going in I wasn’t aware that it belonged in the category of comedy. It probably doesn’t have the pathos or depth of insight to be in any other category, but it’s reasonably thoughtful, and unusual enough to be surprising.


  • You are gifted at writing reviews. I could never have written that. I am feeling sorry for myself about that but should be glad for you instead, which I am, with a touch of jealousy.

  • Ah, you are too kind. I thought this was a rather lousy effort myself (and I don't like writing movie reviews because I feel like there are movie-review police out there). But I thought your wintering post was lovely, and was feeling rather pathetic over that, so perhaps we can just blog on in mutual jealousy …

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