The film is already being compared to the work of Woody Allen, particularly "Manhattan," as it was also shot in black and white. "The character and the story and the anthropology of the movie was so contemporary that I thought the black and white contrasted that and supported it," Baumbach says. "It made it both old and new at the same time."
In some ways, Frances as a character fits the Woody Allen mold, at times the victim to her own charming idiosyncrasies.
It is also being compared to "Girls," the HBO comedy also about female 20-somethings finding their way in the big city. A few Sophie-and-Frances exchanges have parallels in the Marnie-and-Hannah universe, like when the two former friends lie to one another on the phone about being happy in their new circumstances. Gerwig and Baumbach resist "Frances Ha" being lumped into the what-does-it-mean-to-be-millennial category (and perhaps, lying over the phone to your best friend to save your dignity is a universal transgression).
"To be totally honest, I don't think Noah and I ever really thought about this as making any kind of statement about a generation," Gerwig says.
"We were just trying to write this character and this is the world that she just happens to be living in. We wanted the story to feel almost more mythic than that and be more of a hero's journey."