Where have all the quotable movies gone? I mean, when was the last time you sat around with friends spitting out quotes from a movie that came out sometime in the past 10 years? That's not to say movies with memorable quotes don't exist anymore (Pitch Perfect, Ted, 21 Jump Street and This Is the End being recent examples), it's just that we're programming our brains to move on to "the next thing" so quickly that we've stopped absorbing the content that flows through us. We don't chew it slowly and dissect its many eclectic flavors. Nope, we down it all. We throw that new release into a shot glass, ram it down our throats and hurry to the next one before someone else beats us to it. We're competitive, not reflective. We're that girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory who wants it "now, now, now!"
I didn't see Frances Ha when it hit theaters earlier this year, and I didn't watch it when it hit Blu-ray/DVD either. I was one of those guys who thought it looked like just another movie about hipsters finding themselves, and brushed it aside. Boy, was I wrong. And lame. I was so lame. I was the kind of guy who buys a black leather couch and is like, "I love it."
Aside from the fact that its script is brilliant and Greta Gerwig is pretty incredible as a girl who's just as lost as she is present, the film is stuffed with so many great, memorable, quotable lines that at times it almost feels like they're just raining on your brain, and if you blink you'll miss a bunch. The deliveries, the comebacks, the quips, the asides, the eccentricity of it all -- watching Frances Ha is like spending a delightful afternoon with the nonexistent child of Woody Allen and Wes Anderson. It's playful and romantic; cynical and whimsical. It is all of us. It's like When Harry Met Sally, without Harry. Because who needs Harry? He's undateable.
It is, hands down, one of the best movies of the year.
I sound stoned. I'm not stoned. Frances Ha is that rare movie about hopelessly lost young people that actually feels like real life because it's just plain full of life. Its intimate moments feel incredibly intimate, and its awkward moments are painfully relatable and hilarious. Because you've been there and done that, you won't forget it. You can't forget it. This movie will burn itself into your brain until you're forced to spend your tax-refund check on a dinner with a guy who won't date you.
Frances Ha is a movie about many things and feelings and relationships, but if its main character teaches us anything it's that remaining positive might just be the key to all of this. Amidst all the addictive back-and-forth conversations, there's one line that truly sums up the film for me. It's actually a throwaway line shoved between two larger jokes about Walden Pond and spending a summer at college in your late 20s, but to me it's everything. See if you can spot it in this scene.
Jaded Student Helper: Where are you?
She's here. Not there, but here. She's always here; forever present in any given situation. She may not be paying her share of the rent, or winning that juicy spot in the dance company, or dating some super successful guy, but she's here. And she's not going away anytime soon.
Neither will this movie, I guarantee it.
Frances Ha is now streaming on Netflix. Watch it as soon as you can, but be prepared for its lines to become lodged in your brain for the foreseeable future.
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