Photo Courtesy of Variety.com
December 8, 2017
Moms. Proms. College. Knowledge. Boys. Poise. Friends. Trends. All things that high school senior Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson has to worry about as she deals with her headstrong mother in the new movie Lady Bird.
Set in the early 2000s, Lady Bird must try her best to survive her last year of high school as she finds new and old friends, boyfriends, theater, and financial troubles. While dealing with these changes, she often butts heads with her determined mother who reflects Lady Bird’s personality exactly.
Lady Bird is a quirky coming-of-age story that defies the normal stereotypes of a teenage movie. The story does have young romance, but steers away from the typical girl-meets-boy-and-they-fall-deeply-in-love track. Instead, the movie explores the growth of each partner in the relationship as they learn about themselves together and apart.
While watching the movie, I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions. There were some parts were I was crying profusely as she went through heartbreak, laughing hysterically at the shabby teen jokes, and even saying “aww” to the screen when Lady Bird had her first kiss. Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of a teenage girl felt real and relatable. As a teenage girl myself, I was able to connect with the character’s lack of melodrama, something usually associated with teen girls in movies.
Due to their identical personalities, Lady Bird and her mother, Marion McPherson, played by Laurie Metcalf, argue constantly while Lady Bird, still referred to as Christine by her mother, is just trying to get a passing math grade. Both women firmly hold their ground and discover that letting go is not as bad as they perceived it to be. Their relationship is complex–something rarely seen in movies, having the correct balance between friendly and petty.
Despite the controversy over Rotten Tomatoes deciding what are “good” and “bad” movies, Lady Bird received a 100% Certified Fresh review. This is a rare sight on the popular website, with few other movies earning this recognition. Rotten Tomatoes announced on December 4 that Lady Bird is the top rated movie on the website, beating Toy Story 3 that previously held the title, according to an article from Pop Culture Media.
Lady Bird’s director, Greta Gerwig, skillfully crafted a movie that will be remembered for years. Not only did she independently direct the film, but she was also the screenwriter. She hand wrote personal letters to A-list performers like Justin Timberlake and David Matthews to recieve permission to use their music in her low-budget movie. Gerwig has written and directed movies that are often found in the mumblecore subgenre: low-budget, independent movies that focus on the dialogue rather than the plot. Typically, mumblecore movies consist of young adult characters that come to an epiphany about adulthood.
Now a nominee for four Golden Globes, Lady Bird is a quirky, love-filled coming-of-age story that is relatable above all else. The ability to strongly relate to the movie bolsters my personal rating, since Lady Bird breaks the Hollywood trope of portraying teenage girls as feeble and dramatic. Saorise Ronan expertly poured everything into the movie that was needed, showing a perfect mixture of teen angst and vulnerability. Lady Bird is definitely the movie to see this winter before it leaves theaters.