In this case, though, the love is deserved.
For viewers in their 20s--especially those following a career in the arts--this film will have immediate resonance. Viewers who are a little older can look back on earlier years of their lives and recall analogs for these characters, or versions of them.
There are rich kids playing at being artists and writers. While we never see how these people turn out we can feel some certainty they wind upworking for the family business. There are the upwardly mobile types who only temporarily inhabit the environs of the hipster. Then there are the artists of more modest backgrounds. You can find this last type living on friend's couches in any expensive city in the USA.
Frances, the lead character played in charming fashion by Greta Gerwig, falls into the latter category. If you knew someone like Frances you would like her. You would also probably cluck your tongue about her and sometimes avoid her.
The film, co-written by Gerwig and director, Noah Baumbach, stands out for its optimism. Many indie movies about living in the city have a mean spiritedness. This one doesn't. This is a movie with real affection for its characters. There is no class warfare here, all the characters are depicted with sympathy. It is as if Woody Allen wrote and directed a film after a strange bout of contentment and happiness. And this film very much calls to mind Allen's writing and direction (probably more the latter than the former). This isn't to say the film is all about happiness and success--as much as anything it is about failures and disappointment. But the tone somehow manages to still be light an
That works in some situations and it makes for squirminess in others (in life or in the movies). But, really, when it is done without malice it is a good quality in a human being. This movie highlights these good qualities. There is a tendency to run such a positive view down. Wouldn't one of her friends be venal or mean? Maybe they are and the film just chooses to not show that part of them? Or maybe most people are basically good. It is an unpopular concept of course.
There are lots of chuckles in the films but don't go in thinking you are going to find hilarity in every line. This is a slice of life film and it makes you care about the characters living these lives. You will walk out of Frances Ha in a better mood than when you sat down (unless you bought movie theater nachos).
It is to be hoped Gerwig and Baumbach collaborate again.