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Sometimes – a nice surprise shows up

Frances Ha

Sometimes – a nice surprise shows up

If you have a Netflix account, you likely already know how the service gives you suggestions for additional viewing. You finish a film, and three options show up on the screen while the movie that is wrapping up [in a reduced size screen that magically appears].
Or maybe you see all these categories that show up on your home page – apparently Netflix engineer have invented a Terry algorithm – sending stuff just for me, or a fellow with my viewing inclinations.
Frances Ha showed up in the category “Critically Acclaimed” – and I’d seen it popping up in other suggestion areas, too, so – I clicked play. Details about the movie are here:

Frances is 27, and aspires to be a professional dancer in New York City. She works, sort of, as an understudy in a less-than-staggeringly-successful dance company. And she tries real hard; maybe too hard. She’s exuberant, but just can’t seen to pull it together. Sometimes drink too much, spends money impulsively, and [right up to the last scene of the film] has no permanent address. Oops – spoiler.

Frances is a dreamer, a wild dreamer. I like that about her, but that goes along with a painful tendency to stretch truth until paper-thin, and to embellish the connections she has with people until everyone in the room knows it’s just a story about a story.
Did I mention that I know President Obama? Yeah, well, we don’t actually stay in touch much – but he and I use the same brand of syrup on our pancakes, and we’ve both been to Chicago. Close enough, eh?
So, as I watched Frances move through one crisis after another, I got to thinking about staying and leaving. How do you know when to stick? When to move along? When to find a new destination? Can you hang in there long enough to see where your assets and resources are – where your calling is? Can you keep your authenticity – or do you have to change all the way down to your chromosomes?
Sweetly, as all little, charming, touching films try to do – success and some of the answers emerge. Frances eventually finds hers, too. She gets a little more focused, and a wee bit more practical. She takes a little guidance from her old dance company director – and comes on board at the company to help on the administrative side. And teaches youngsters in the evening. Her feet on on the ground, it seems. She knew when to get things done. Just like the lyrics tell us in the closing credit song, Modern Love, from the great David Bowie. Get the lyrics here.
Extra credit available if you can guess what scene made me cry. What’s your guess?

By Terry Moore

Terry Moore, MSW, LICSW is an Independently Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Omaha, NE. He provides psychotherapy and pain management to adults, often utilizing Hypnosis. He is an Approved Training Consultant - through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis [ASCH], the same body that issues his Certification in Hypnosis.