Hannah Takes The Stairs

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Recent graduate Hannah (Gerwig) spends a hot Chicago summer working at a production company and falling in and out of love, leaving a trail of heartache in her wake.


Joe Swanberg’s no-budget comedy has countless problems, the bulk of which derive from the fact it’s been improvised by Greta Gerwig and a cast of mumblecore directors. The vaguely linear narrative charts Gerwig’s romantic progress from musician Mark Duplass through boss Andrew Bujalski to co-worker Kent Osborne. Throughout, Gerwig is smart and engaging, but Swanberg allows too many breeze-shooting sequences to meander. Aping Cassavetes and Jarmusch is a laudable intention, but there’s a difference between artistically shaping impromptu material and hoping it will turn out alright in the end.

Smart and engaging, but too many meandering breeze-shooting sequences.