A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Frances eventually gets herself together and follows her dream, but her moment of change isn't really the focus. Mostly viewers see her misadventures -- i.e. learning what not to do. But she never makes any serious mistakes, other than spending too much money, making social faux pas, and missing good opportunities.
Positive Role Models
Frances is a bit of a scatterbrain, and she makes many mistakes, but she's cheerful and never gives up. Plus, she never deliberately makes any bad choices; she just chooses unwisely sometimes. Eventually her optimism and gumption are shown to have paid off.
Violence & Scariness
Minor arguing between friends from time to time.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity or sex is shown, but sex is a regular topic of discussion; the characters think about it often. Sometimes the talk is fairly graphic.
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Language isn't constant but is fairly strong. "F--k" is used more than a dozen times, and "s--t" is used several times. "C--t," "t-ts," "anal sex," "bitch," "damn," "douche," "Jesus," and "slut" are also used.
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Products & Purchases
Various logos/brand names are glimpsed in the background, such as Bank of America, Belvedere vodka, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer, whiskey, vodka, and other alcoholic beverages and smoke cigarettes in a background way, at home, at clubs, and at dinner parties. Occasionally a character overindulges in alcohol, with results played for humor. There's a running gag about keeping one foot on the floor to prevent "the spins."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Frances Ha is a sophisticated, black-and-white comedy with some romantic subplots. It's very dialogue and character-based, with a wonderfully cheerful attitude; good things happen to good people, but only after they fail a few times. The biggest issue is language, which is strong and includes "f--k" and "s--t." Sex is also a frequent (and sometimes graphic) topic of discussion, though no nudity or sex acts are actually shown. Characters drink and smoke in a social, background way. There's occasional overindulgence, with effects that are played for laughs. Since the story is about twentysomethings, only older teens may actually be interested. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Packed with a new kind of appealing, cheerful wit, this is writer/director Noah Baumbach's most purely enjoyable movie. Baumbach is already an expert in the New York artist/intellectual lifestyle, but writing for the first time with his star (and real-life girlfriend) Gerwig, he comes up with his most satisfying, cohesive movie since The Squid and the Whale.
The style in FRANCES HA seems simple, but it's really quite intricate and complex. It's made up of dozens of spot-on lines of dialogue spoken in rhythmic little scenes. Sometimes the scenes last just seconds, and sometimes much longer. Nothing much except the passing of time connects these scenes; there's no real plot. The glorious black-and-white cinematography and choice of music keep things feeling hopeful and romantic, even when things are at their lowest. This is a truly wonderful movie, recalling Woody Allen at his best. (It has also been compared to the HBO series Girls, although it's much less edgy/graphic than that show.)
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.