I cried five times while watching Lady Bird, which would be exceptionally significant if not coming from the girl who cried so hard she nearly busted a blood vessel in her eye after watching Madagascar 2. Regardless, Lady Bird was the perfect way for me to wash out the ol’ tear ducts. To whomever may be reading this review: if you’re looking for a quirky indie movie with a convincing cast… WATCH LADY BIRD.
While at first coming across as a typical coming-of-age story centering around a eccentric-yet-lovable protagonist armed with an average stockpile of romantic escapades, best friend drama, and parent troubles, Lady Bird delivers more of a punch. Yes, the movie does contain these elements, but casts another layer onto them. Catherine aka. “Lady Bird,” our heroine, immediately captivates the audience with her snarky dialogue and subtly pink hair. However, there is an element of vulnerability in her character that becomes nearly instantly evident and endearing. I couldn’t help but feel affection towards this spunky high school senior who isn’t afraid of standing out but is not unquestionably defiant of authority– in fact, she has a passion for theater and fosters a sort of friendship with one of the nuns at her Catholic school, setting her apart from previous, “i-hate-everyone-why-am-i-so-different-and-quirky” protagonist archetypes of similar indie movies. Nearly every character was endearing in their own special ways.
Lady Bird is a movie about growing up, but it is also one about mother-daughter relationships. The relationship between Lady Bird and her mother is so so real and beautifully crafted. One could see the obvious love that undercut the tension between them. There was one scene in particular at the end that hit home particularly hard- the woman sitting next to me was probably getting fed up with my periodic crying-noises of anguish.
And yet, there are precious moments of humor that made the entire theater shout with laughter. The humor in this film is smart and dry, cutting through moments of heavy emotion with its quick-wittedness.
Lady Bird perfectly captures teen-girl longing, frustration, restlessness, and nostalgia in a way that is not corny or unrealistic: because there were elements of realism in each area of Lady Bird’s journey. There is no ‘fairy-tale ending’ for any of the characters. The ending of the movie, while I am not going to spoil it, cuts off almost ominously, allowing one to wonder about the fate of Lady Bird and her loved ones.
If you didn’t get a chance to experience Lady Bird yet, don’t fret. Michigan Theater has showtimes until November 30th. Tickets are $8 with student ID.
Featured image credits: Merie Wallace, courtesy of A24