Most romantic comedies revolve around romantic relationships, but Noah Baumbach’s adorable “Frances Ha” shifts the focus to a friendship between college best friends and roommates Frances Halladay (Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig) and Sophie Levee (Mickey Sumner) .
Frances is a struggling apprentice in a New York dance company aspiring to become a regular member. She’s enjoying her rowdy life in Brooklyn, but her codependent friendship with Sophie is holding her back. Like Barry in Punch-Drunk Love, Frances is a jumble of contradictions. She is ambitious but lazy; she is both sincere and scathing.
When Sophie announces she’s moving into an expensive apartment in Tribeca that Frances can’t afford, Frances has to face the music. She comes to herself through amusing detours to Sacramento for Christmas, a botched impromptu getaway to Paris, and a humiliating return to her alma mater, which reunites her with Sophie.
Shot in beautiful black-and-white cinematography, Frances Ha features French new wave flourishes, particularly its truncated editing and narration, which is broken up into chapters set in the various locations Frances calls home. Gerwig, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay with Baumbach, is a beaming Frances. She keeps you tight for Frances no matter how many times she puts her foot in her mouth.