I re-watched Frances Ha last night and remembered how much it touched me the first time. There is so much of this film which speaks to me, and particularly Frances who is the most relatable character I’ve ever witnessed in film. At the time of its release I heard mixed reviews, and perhaps this is just a film for a certain point in your life. I was, and still am, at that point where it truly reflects my life and the ups & downs of being a twenty-something.
There’s a great quote in the film where Frances talks with Benji and asks whether she looks old to him, older than he is – older than 27 – to which he replies that she doesn’t look that old, but 27 is indeed old. Being that I’m quickly approaching that number and will be 27 by the end of the month, it both made me laugh and tear up a little inside. Frances is me; nothing works out for her, she struggles with relationships, friends, money, living with friends, getting the creative career that she loves. Most of my friends could easily fit into this Frances mold too, and there is something refreshingly honest about who she is as a person.
At one point she says how embarrassed she is because she’s not a real person yet. I don’t know whether we ever become real people; we are constantly becoming and changing and yet we feel pressured to be ‘together’ and sorted by the time we hit our mid to late twenties. Seeing Frances struggle to pull the threads of her life together, realise her dreams and attempt to make the right decisions makes you feel better about your own situation. She makes mistakes, she loses friends and she acts impulsively, almost recklessly. What this film makes you realise is; that’s more than okay. Frances Ha is reflective of a lost generation, one which doesn’t quite know how to find its way, but stumbles onwards regardless. Nothing quite works out for Frances, but somehow she does find her own way.
Andy: So what do you do?
Frances: It’s complicated.
Andy: Is it because what you do is complicated?
Frances: No, it’s because I don’t do it.