If you have a Roku or any device that gets Popcorn Flix, go through it just for fun and look at all the hundreds of titles. Do you see a single movie that a) looks good and/or b) you’ve ever heard of before? Nope? I didn’t either.
When I first got Netflix, that is what I expected—to be watching B movies or rejects from the SyFy Network. I’ve been impressed with the variety that the company has been able to maintain (though it did have somewhat of a lull about 2 years ago). In terms of independent movies, it is often the first place you’ll be able to see one affordably if you don’t live in Los Angeles or New York City.
Today, I am imploring you to watch one of these indie movies: Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. It is a wonderful story about a 27-year old NYC resident trying to figure out her life. If most of the movies you watch are the mainstream variety, there are a few things in this one that might throw you off at first. There aren’t many big-name actors in it. It’s shot in black and white. It often seems like an 85-minute episode of Girls. There are swear words in it–which will apparently be a deal-breaker for some people…
Noah Baumbach directed Greenberg before this, starring Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig. When it first came out on DVD I was working at the customer service department at Target. A lady brought the movie up to the register, complaining that it was “just trash. Everything that came out of [Ben Stiller’s] mouth was so vulgar.” She demanded her money back, and because it was the holiday season and nobody wanted to endure another minute of her moralizing, we gave it to her. What I wanted to say was, “Ma’am, you’ll have to take this up with the Motion Picture Association of America.”
Back to Frances Ha. It stars Greta Gerwig, who is mostly known from being in Greenberg. The only other person in this movie you might know is Adam Driver, who plays Adam on Girls. Not that this is a badly cast movie—everybody shines, and Gerwig is even currently nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. Here are other things you might like about it.
- It has the same kind of humor as Girls (a show I just LOVE), but it doesn’t have some of the aspects that so many people hate about Girls. There isn’t a lot of nudity, and Frances comes of (in my opinion) less entitled than Hannah Horvath.
- It is about being in your 20s and not having a clue what you’re doing. I am currently in this phase of my life, and there are points of the movie that captured exactly what I was going through. If you’re in this stage as well, my bet is that you’ll love it—but my mom watched it and enjoyed it despite being a lot older, too.
- There are also plenty of light-hearted moments. Frances tends to mess things up, and even though I think we’re supposed to like her, we’re also supposed to laugh at her.
- It isn’t super long. At 86 minutes, you can just watch this instead of going on Facebook or playing Candy Crush for one day, and you’ll hardly notice the time difference.
- It does have some great lessons to teach, but it doesn’t go over the top with preaching.
- If you mostly watch mainstream stuff and hate “artsy films,” this is a good one to watch to make yourself feel sophisticated, but you’ll still enjoy it and get it the first time you watch it.
Well, that’s about it. It’s on Netflix streaming, which pretty much everybody has on every device they own, so you have no excuses. Then come find me (or just post something below) and tell me what you thought about it.