I had a super difficult time sitting through Fances Ha, which blew, because I’d felt so excited going in. A movie! For me to like! We’re all going to like it! And celebrate it together! Being young! Black and white! Good fonts! Feeling directionless! Let’s roll!
And yet fifteen minutes in, and then thirty minutes in, and then forty five minutes in, I found myself wanting to stand up or read something on my phone or take a lap around the theater. Anything. Not even, “Ugh, this character!” or, “Ugh, this script!” just like, actively not wanting to participate in the cycle of portraying people in their 20s as these flailing, autistic creatures anymore.
Have I or my friends experienced the sensation of having an uncomfortable conversation that, in retrospect, we probably could have handled better? Of course. We’re alive. Have I spent too much money on a thing that turned out to be frivolous and not worth it? Almost always. But I also manage to buy toothpaste and pay my bills and be kind to people without leeching their life force out of them and I’m just tired. I’m tired of art hitting this same note that’s “It’s so hard! To have air-dried hair and clothes that aren’t from the mall and a friend with a boyfriend!” when the reality of it is that that’s like, the baseline. There are icky, wormy, beautiful things that happen when you’re not explaining the surface-level, breathing-in-and-out-status stuff to your audience, and I wish anyone anywhere would take up that work.
And maybe it’s just not for me. Maybe everything geared toward and written by people in their twenties isn’t sent down from some heaven cloud for Christine specifically, and that’s something I still haven’t wrapped my head around in a meaningful way, but I wish someone would write a single character that wasn’t all elbows. Someone capable of making a mistake, but maybe capable of being goddamn sympathetic and smart and great too.
This was like Garden State dressed up as Manhattan.