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Frances Ha is a movie about a weirdo girl. And white people, mostly. I don’t know if you remember, but RoboCop had, like, three black people and one Asian gangster. All of them were badass dudes – think about the line, “This guy’s a serious asshole.” (Sergeant Reed,) or, “Oh, fuck you!” (Steve Minh.)

Anyway, in FHa, two almost-gay best friends are living together, and then they’re not. Then the main girl, Frances, bounces around without getting her shit together for awhile. That’s pretty much it. It all takes place in the big city of New York, but there’s no construction sites cum war zones, no imposing monoliths of consumer culture, no sprawling criminal landscapes on the verge of rebirth…That’s a missed opportunity if you ask me; compared to Detroit, NYC is big enough to warrant ~2.12 RoboCops.

It’s not just that nothing really happens in Frances. It’s also a lack of real or interesting conversation. While writer/director Noah Baumbach is trying his hardest to channel Woody Allen’s style, he’s missing the knack for natural dialogue. A lot of the lines feel like they were engineered to be clever, rather than realistic. This also induced muscle-straining eye rolls in this fine writer.

The acting is pretty bad a lot of the time, too. I spent most of the movie waiting for a stop-motion, walking turret to show up, but it never happened. Stick to the classics, I guess.



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