The first part of the film is an endearing look at the friendship of twenty-something best friends, rendered in quaint black and white cinematography with a nice soundtrack.
Greta Gerwig is the awkward, unkempt, and childish but likable Frances Ha, a ballet dancer in New York City.
Her performance captures the post-college phase of arrested development, when your peers are getting hitched or making headway in their careers while you’re still in second gear, discovering that your idealism in your passing youth is no longer a match for the realities of life.
As her more mature best friend moves on, Frances Ha tries to replace her with a pair of hipsters who get by subsidy from their parents for their artsy digs. This doesn’t last long.
By the second half, the film aimlessly fumbles along as she regresses, following Frances as she moves from one place to another without anything to propel the narrative except for a change of address.
In one scene where Frances finally realizes that she hits a dead end, a contrived ending is cooked up to get her feet back on the ground.
While Frances Ha is entertaining in its own way it’s an idealized coming of age tale with an idealized heroine, who can get a pre-approved credit card and go to Paris and sleep through a vacation.
Frances Ha is an idealized coming of age tale of a New York city dweller, but its affable performance by Greta Gerwig anchors its aimless narrative.