Alex Thompson directs Kelly O’Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams and Max Lipchitz in this comedy about a dropout nanny who is ill prepared for caring for her ward yet begins to connect with the various women around her.
Saint Frances begins like most slob bro comedies – a feckless loser in arrested development hitting rock bottom in terms of finances, employment and relationships. The lead could be Bill Murray or Seth Rogen if it wasn’t for this is a project written by its female lead Kelly O’Sullivan as a breakthrough vehicle. As a showcase for her talent and star power it works a treat. Bridget is a messy, unpredictable and often emotionally frustrating character – torn between her feminist leanings and her erratic often selfish desires – who you very much bond with and relate to. The plotlines that takes in hook ups, abortions, vaginal bleeding, postpartum depression and raising a child may seem low stakes and a little too pointedly seminal but the dealing of them is never gentle or whimsical. It confronts various issues head on, auditing these various trends in modern womanhood sympathetically, without losing O’Sullivan’s naturally humorous voice. To enjoy a mainstream accessible film that consistently gives airtime to matters that Hollywood has traditionally shied away from is pleasing in the extreme. Warm, and only very occasionally didactic, Saint Frances is a minor triumph.
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