caricakes
3 years ago1,000+ Views

Why Frances Ha Didn't Grow Up To Be Mistress America

If you don't know one, you probably know someone who knows one.

The yoga instructor/graphic designer/poet that occasionally models for their friend's trendy jewelry brand and is thinking of starting their own bakery catering business? Well, that is Mistress America.
The people who feel like if they aren't doing a thousand things, they aren't doing anything. The idea people, the people that change their mind half-way through any sentence, the people who can never quite see anything through to the end.
In Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's latest project, Mistress America, we follow one of these do-everything-but-nothings named Brooke.
Brooke takes her soon-to-be step-sister, Tracy, under her wing while she adjusts to college in the big city, but soon after Brooke's life begins to crumble. The film takes a turn to the ridiculous with too many quirky characters and too many plot points, but basically we see that no one ever knows what they're doing. No one. Not the grown-ups we're supposed to become after graduation, not the rich or the famous or the well educated. We're all just sort of winging it.

Mistress America wanted to grow up too fast.

Frances Ha on the other hand, is sort of the opposite to Brooke's character. While Brooke wants to do everything, Frances is sort of content to do very, very little.
Bum around the house all day, work part-time jobs and study at dance school. When she can't pay the rent she just stays at an artsy friend's house, talking about movies and listening to old records.
When everyone around her starts to actually do things (like getting married, getting jobs, traveling the world) she gets anxious. She isn't ready to enter the 'real world' just yet.

Frances Ha refused to grow up.

I can't tell you which character I relate to more, because somedays I am Frances Ha, and some days I am Brooke Cardinas.
I think that is what makes his stories so relatable - we all have our days when we feel exactly like his characters. Are they over the top? Sure! But so are we if we take a step back and actually look at ourselves.
What I thank Baumbach for most is the fact that he manages to capture a unique and fragile experience we all share.

That feeling of always being ever-so-slightly out of control that is our twenties.

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