Lady Bird (2017)

The Theatre/Experience:

I arrived early and walked in on the last 5 minutes of the previous showing of the same movie (much to my horror)! I ran out, but the scene was already burned in my head. Interestingly enough, I used this to guess how the story began. As I sat outside waiting for the credits to run, a woman exited and stopped every other patron to say “did you love it?? I loved it!” She then went on to rave about particular parts – it was a spoiler waiting to happen. She eventually left and I was able to find my seat during the previews.

The Good:

I liked the production values. The movie felt real and familiar, like a home video. The characters were real people and not exaggerated versions of what we think people are. Do you know what I mean? I hate watching a movie that makes me say “we get it, [example character] is a [tortured character trait]!” Each person had their own role and personality. There were good bits of humor sprinkled throughout, the dialogue didn’t seem contrived, the acting was fun. The characters were weird in a “this is exactly the kind of people you come across in high school” way.

I loved the way love was shown here. I didn’t find love myself until I was 27, but the scenes here are how I imagined it would happen to me in school. It was awkward and confusing but beautiful at the same time.

Lady Bird was so bold I became jealous of her ferocity! Not of her direction, though, she has to find her way like the rest of us. And so much angst! It’s almost cathartic. The best part was being able to walk away from the story at the end.

The Bad:

There was a character present in the beginning that disappeared before the end. What happened to this person? Their absence wasn’t (and should have been) explained.

I felt like the mother/daughter relationship also called for an explanation. Why are they like this? It’s not enough to just show the current state of things, I wanted a little back story. Nonetheless, it reminded me a little of the relationship I shared with my mother growing up. Is it just a teenage thing? I wanted the mother to be more tender and reassuring and motherly. And I wanted the daughter to be patient and mature and understanding. There’s nothing wrong with their representation, per se, it just didn’t appeal to me as much.

I found the best friendship to follow the pattern of all of teen soap operas. Was it supposed to feel different because the friend was fat and the lead character weird? I don’t know. It was cute, but I saw everything coming. (The dialogue delayed a few suspicions so that was nice!)

The Verdict:

It’s probably not a film for everybody (even though it had a 100% rotten tomatoes rating and everyone raved about it), but you should see it if you like coming-of-age tales, teenage angst, and quirky characters. I enjoyed it, but unlike the meddling stranger, I didn’t love it.

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