The Friendships of Convenience in Frances Ha

I heard about Frances Ha from a friend in Sweden.

I read about mumblecore and its manifesto seemed very authentic to me.

The first scene in Frances Ha feels like something from a very pleasant dream or a reverie. We see two women who are having fun in a park, and then soon cut to running in the streets. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’s first 20 minutes comes to mind, yet the two women are not romantically involved. They are flatmates who share the deepest intimacy.

Mickey Sumner and Greta Gerwig in Franes Ha

Unfortunately, this intimacy doesn’t last for long. Sophie, Frances’ flatmate, has other plans and just isn’t that into Frances in a platonic way. (You could call “Frances Ha” a bromance with chics.)

A very good job is done of making the audience feel just how close to Sophie Frances is. All the more heartbreaking when Sophie tosses Frances aside for an apartment in Tribeca, Manhattan.

The film accepts that we live in an age of friendships of convenience. We form deep intimacies yet are barely conscious of them being there and we so easily toss them aside. Does it have anything to do with mobile phones? Frances laments that Sophie’s phone with email seems to be more important to her than her.

I wish more films like this were made; they are after all low budget, but no budget can buy the insight into how we are living. Some might call the film NYC navel gazing; I’d like to call it great art.

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