I’ve been wanting to see his movie for awhile, but I wasn’t willing to pay for a ticket when it was in theaters and while it scored well on rotten tomatoes, I was still not wanting to take a chance on something that didn’t seem to get a whole of press time. Thankfully Amazon added it to their prime video and I finally sat down and watched it. This review will contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie yet you have been warned.
Lady Bird follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson in her senior year of high school. Attending Catholic school, Lady Bird (her preferred name) follows the ups and downs of coming of age, senior year and choosing a college. Wanting to go out of state to New York she is constantly battling with her mom about college, trying to fit in, first boyfriends and keeping grades up trying to get into college.
Lady Bird is a beautiful coming of age story, and it differs greatly from most coming of age stories as well. I loved the realness behind the story and the struggles that Lady Bird went through especially with her mom. I’ll break down the review into parts and/or events that happened in the movie and touch on each a little bit. Then I will do my overall feelings and opinions on it.
Lady Bird and her mother: The movie starts off with a college visit as Lady Bird and her mother listen to an audio book. True to a lot of mother daughter relationships, the audio book ends and they start to bicker. Cue the end of the scene and Lady Bird opens the car door as they are still driving and just falls out breaking her arm. To say I was shocked about this scene was a bit of an understatement. It seemed dramatic and crazy and way over the top but it set up the whole relationship with her mom for the entire movie. They had the type of relationship where they could be honest with each other, but the mom was a little too honest and tried her hardest to get her daughter to be the best that she could be. Lady Bird realized that her mom really did care but a lot of the time she didn’t know how to handle the blatant honesty coming from her mom and retaliated with the same honesty.
College: After initially fighting with her mom about wanting to go out of state and her mom telling her she would never be accepted to those colleges, and that there was no way they could afford them anyways. So Lady Bird says nothing more of the topic and applies to the colleges behind her mothers back. She longs to get away and get a taste of freedom from her town of Sacramento. The movie ends with her getting in to a New York college, things are super shaky with her mom and they leave on a sour note. Her dad sneaks several letters from her mom into her suitcase (with out mom knowing) which I am assuming were all the unspoken feelings of love and affection for her daughter. After some hardships in New York, Lady Bird realizes her love for her mother and for Sacramento. She calls her mom and thanks her for everything saying that she loves her and misses her. Its leaves the audience to wonder if she stayed in New York, if she transferred back home or maybe she took her time in New York to appreciate her home and her life.
Boyfriends: This movie shows how many a first loves goes. Lady Birds first boyfriend turned out to be gay, while breaking her heart Lady Bird realized how much worse the boy was as they attended catholic school and was unable to tell his family. Her second boyfriend conned her into having sex, taking her virginity and then admitting that he wasn’t actually a virgin even though he had said he was. She has to come to terms with her struggles and realize her mistakes and come to terms with a huge jerk of a guy. I even liked how she was able to talk to her mom about it, and her mom didn’t judge. When asked when is the correct time to start having sex her mom just replied “probably college, but make sure to use protection like we talked about.” which I really admired. Even if you want to stress that sex should wait till marriage it’s important to let your kids know all the details and precautions they need to be taking. It was nice to see how first love isn’t how always how it seems it’s going to be, especially as a teenager.
There are many more points I could touch on but these are the main ones. I really enjoyed the movie overall and thought it was well done.
The movie is really slow going, nothing really happens but it touches on a side of life that most movies don’t show. What it’s like to be the poor one in a private school, the struggles of love, fights between friends and even the struggles of the adults as they raise a rather opinionated child. It isn’t an action movie, it’s a story movie.
While there are some scenes that just kind of seem like “what the heck” overall the movie is a great one. Like when she jumped from the car, that was a little crazy and seemed a little extreme. And at the end, when she gets to college and parties it up and gets sent to the hospital for just being drunk on basically her first night. While it was a slap in the face for Lady Bird, it just seemed off and a little rushed. She spent the entire movie trying to get away and on her first night she realizes what she misses. While that is very realistic it just happened so quickly like the first thing she does is get wasted.
Overall though, this was an amazing coming of age movie and really portrayed a teens struggles of colleges and relationships. It was a movie that I feel most people can relate to on some level. It was touching and sad, and really got a person thinking. I love movies that aren’t just entertaining but also are very profound and make a person think.
I would rate this a 4/5 stars, I loved the movie but some of it was just way out there. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves more realistic movies and not just action and fantasy. It’s a slow movie, but still a very good movie. And I encourage everyone to at least try it. It’s on amazon prime video (included with a prime membership) for anyone looking for it. Otherwise it’s pretty much in every store on DVD and blu ray. Definitely worth a watch.