Today the fam wrapped up our hockey weekend with, finally, a win!
It was an early game and my grandma invited me to see the movie Lady Bird with her. She’s on a mission to watch all the Academy Award nominated films.
I had only seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which I think is a masterpiece. I jumped at the chance to see Lady Bird.
Beware of mild spoilers.
I am thoroughly disappointed.
This movie is a ‘coming of age story’ that contains every teenage cliche known to man.
Girl is rebellious, yet naive. Girl fights with mom, but has a supportive and understanding father. There’s drama with best friends, and boys, and college. Smoking… drinking… sex…
This is not groundbreaking.
Further, the numerous, confusing plot points are tied together without finesse, if at all. There are too many conflicts for the 94 minute run time.
But isn’t that the perfect way to portray the teenage experience?
It could have been.
The glaring and insurmountable evidence to the contrary is this.
Lady Bird has a happy ending. There is a resolution to the title character’s main conflict.
Furthermore, this resolution occurs after an obviously short amount of time away from home.
Going to college does not cure the anger and hurt of the teenage experience.
Make a movie with 5,000 intersecting characters, plot points, and conflicts. Make a movie with motivations that are confused, and emotional responses that are underdeveloped. Make a movie to show the realistic, imperfect side of being 17 years old.
That movie has no resolution.
That movie leaves everyone with the unsatisfied feeling of being 17. That movie acknowledges that the confusion, bitterness, misunderstandings last far into the future. That movie validates a true and normal experience.
Lady Bird is not that movie. The final scene is sappy, unrealistic, and steals any empathy that’s miraculously retained through all the other cliched plot points.
There is good acting. There are a few scenes (I’d say two) that are heart wrenching and I was happy to see on the big screen.
Otherwise, I was disappointed by what passes for realism in a movie about the raw, gritty greatness of being 17.
I’m twenty, and three years later, I’m still struggling to find my resolutions.
Lady Bird lent few new twists to a plot that’s been done before 100 times.