Romantic partners Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig mined their personal experiences to co-write the script for Frances Ha, their new film opening Friday.
Filmmaker Baumbach, who previously penned The Squid and the Whale, set out to create the light-hearted tone of the film by recalling snippets of conversation from his own past.
"A lot of the writing of the script would be to write conversation. I kind of find the character, find the scene, find relationships almost, in the dialogue. It's almost like the dialogue comes first and then, you think 'Who are these people really,'" he told CBC News.
His heroine is the titular character, played by Gerwig, who has had roles in To Rome With Love and Damsels in Distress. Frances is having a post-college identity crisis: losing her roommate, working as an apprentice for a dance company that may never hire her and constantly broke.
Despite the character's many dilemmas, the script Gerwig and Baumbach wrote together is full of comic moments and shot in atmospheric black and white. Baumbach chose the New York setting and the college Frances attended (Vassar), but as they tell CBC’s Eli Glasner, the scenes of female friendship are drawn from Gerwig’s life.
"There were just moments that you thought if you pushed on them, there might be something interesting behind there," Gerwig said.
The film also stars Mickey Sumner (daughter of singer Sting) as the best friend and roommate who is moving out.
Frances Ha hits theatres in Toronto and Vancouver Friday, in Montreal on June 28 and in other cities throughout summer.