Unite, enthusiasts of Frances Ha — director Noah Baumbach and his shining star and co-writer, Greta Gerwig, have reteamed to create a screwball diversion that vibrates with smarts, sexiness and comic desperation. That’s Mistress America, starring the delectable Gerwig as Brooke, a Manhattan dynamo in design, aerobics, restaurants and whatever else can absorb her manic energy. If Brooke got off the fast track and took a good look at herself, she’d scream. Her latest distraction is Tracy (Lola Kirke), a freshman at Barnard whose mother is set to marry Brooke’s dad. Disaster? You bet. But not before Brooke and Tracy exploit each other and end up at the Connecticut home of Brooke’s ex-fiance, where the full cast of characters converges in a series of slammed doors and shouting matches.
Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) is clearly having a blast and, as usual, packing a sting into every line. Gerwig is the mistress of all things funny and fierce, and her byplay with Kirke (Gone Girl) is killer. You won’t know what hit you.