[FEATURE] It’s This Secret World of Frances Ha


I’m seeing a movie alone in a theater for the first time ever, and it’s during the day on a Thursday. Yes, I came to see it alone, but I expected there to be at least one other soul there with me. Right now it’s only me. I swear someone was following me in here, but when he got to the ticket booth, he only asked for directions to the train station. Is it bad if I kind of wish he were here now?

Suddenly a piano is playing down the hall and I don’t feel so alone. My vision of this possible creep sitting two rows ahead and to the right dissolves in front of my eyes. Have a creep here with me? What was I thinking?

The theater is small and gray. To the dust in the corners of the ceiling, my neon floral shirt must stick out like a sore thumb. I’m wondering how many film students, divorced men, and girls who’ve just quit their jobs this room has seen on a high-traffic weekday.

The wind whirs through the roof and the screen turns on. An elderly couple walks in.

“Which one do you want?” the man asks, as if choosing a seat in the theater was like choosing which cake they’d had at their wedding 50 years ago.

In 15 minutes, I’ve experienced more than I have in 3 years.

This is the life of a dreamer, of minds who see life as a movie.

[FEATURE] It's This Secret World of Frances Ha

[FEATURE] It's This Secret World of Frances Ha


Based on the trailer for Frances Ha, and pictures floating around the internet, I definitely had a certain expectation for this film. I thought it would be about a twenty-something dancer trying to make it in this world.

Frances Ha is not what the internet makes her out to be. This is the kind of thing that just doesn’t come out right and turns into something else when other people try to tell it. Really, you just have to see it yourself to get it for what it is – magic.

Toward the end, I teared up, not because I was sad, but because of how beautifully relatable this film was to my current life situation. Frances Ha was me, she was my friends, she was any girl with hopes and dreams seeing a movie alone.

…It’s that thing when you’re with someone and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it, but it’s a party. And you’re both talking to other people and you’re laughing and shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes. But, but not because you’re possessive or it’s precisely sexual but because that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad but only because this life will end. And it’s this secret world that exists right there in public unnoticed that no one knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that, um, other dimensions exist all around us but we don’t have the ability to perceive them? That’s, that’s what I want out of a relationship or just life I guess. Love. Blah. I sound stoned. I’m not stoned. Thanks for dinner…”

-Frances Handley


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