Teen Volunteer Review: Frances Ha

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Today, Boston Latin School student Elizabeth Choi is reviewing Frances Ha, cowritten by and starring Greta Gerwig, who wrote and directed Lady Bird and Little Women!

My mother borrowed the indie comedy Frances Ha because it shares the same first name as my sister. I went in being somewhat doubtful, but Frances’s (Greta Gerwig) awkward charm was captivating.

27-year-old Frances Halladay navigates her life in New York with (and without) her best friend Sophie Levee (Mickey Sumner). After Sophie leaves the apartment she shared with Frances, the once-inseparable pair drifts apart. While pursuing her dream to become a dancer and trying to reconnect with Sophie, Frances never fails to embrace life in its entirety.

This movie understandably reminded me a bit of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Although I thought that Lady Bird was a better movie, I found Frances more endearing than Lady Bird’s eponymous protagonist (Saoirse Ronan). The acting was nothing special, but Frances herself compensated for it. My sister and I were smiling (and wincing) during the entire film at Frances’s unpredictability. I mean, who goes to France for only a couple of days? But everyone can see a little bit of themselves in Frances, whether it’s her strained but beautiful friendship, her lack of sophistication at dinner parties, or the ecstatic feeling of racing through Chinatown streets to David Bowie’s “Modern Love.” Her gaffes, including stuffing her face with food and not understanding jokes the first time around, are universal. She is realistic, youthful, and unsure.

Frances Ha is not an amazing film, but it offers something to everyone. Watch it for the sake of meeting Frances and her quirks. There is never a dull moment in this movie!