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The Boston Globe

Movies

MOVIE REVIEW

‘Frances Ha’ an exercise in watching Greta Gerwig

‘Frances Ha” is a comedy about youthful haplessness trying to find its hap. The movie has been shot in lustrous black and white — the black and white of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” with less magic and more grit — and it stars Greta Gerwig, with whom it is hoped you will be as enchanted as the film’s director (and Gerwig’s significant other), Noah Baumbach.

I confess to not being among the smitten. Gerwig is a big blonde — in a few years, someone may have the wit to cast her in an adaptation of the Dorothy Parker story of that title — whose characters tend to stumble through life with gaucherie and charm. She manages the trick of seeming gracefully graceless, and in films like “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” “Lola Versus,” and Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” Gerwig plows a likable but dangerously narrow rut. She’s the current generation’s Diane Keaton, which says as much about them as about her.

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