This weekend, two very different films that explore the intricacies of female friendships are hitting theaters (and VOD) near you: Katie Aselton’s thriller Black Rock and Noah Baumbach’s wry Frances Ha.
Female friendships, as explored in all kinds of media, are complex, messy, romantic and rewarding. And both Black Rock and Frances Ha explore are necessary to survival, both literally and figuratively.
Both films are in limited release. Black Rock is also available on VOD.
Black Rock – Directed by Katie Aselton
Black Rock is every woman’s worst nightmare. You go out on an adventure with friends and then things go horribly wrong and you are running for your life. Katie Aselton gives us a film where the women Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth and Aselton herself need to work together to get out of a horrible situation. They have nothing but their wits and guts and life long relationships to come out of what should have been a fun camping trip alive. A major triumph of girl power. I’d take any of those women camping with me. (Melissa Silverstein)
Frances Ha – Co-Written by Greta Gerwig
“Remember when life was like that?” “It still kind of is.”
This was an exchange I overheard after seeing Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. Two people, no longer in their twenties, one nostalgically ruminating on what we had just seen, and one questioning that maybe that chaos, uncertainty and romantic possibility about life isn’t just a “twentysomething” thing.
Co-written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha follows Frances (Gerwig), a 27-year-old dancer who really wants move beyond her dancing apprenticeship into the company. She lives with her best friend, Sophie (Mickey Sumner) and the two are inseparable, until they aren’t. Frances has her dreams yet doesn’t know if they are even based in reality or how to make them so.
Frances’s life is steeped in uncertainty–about her career, romantic options even about where she’s living. Gerwig and Baumbach smartly filter Frances’s struggle through a very class conscious lens–looking at her aimless peers who may be in the same boat as her but clearly have the trust-fund means to not have to overthink it. While Frances Ha is about a woman trying to figure out her life, at the movie’s core is romance — because the one thing that Frances is certain of is her feelings for Sophie.
The film is a love letter to female friendships — from the opening montage filled with a weekend of spending time with your person — beers on a balcony, shared cigarettes, board games and falling asleep together to a movie on Netflix. It captures those heady, love-filled moments but doesn’t shy away from the painful ones when life and our own selfishness gets in the way. (Kerensa Cadenas)