The movie, Lady Bird, changed my life when it first came out two years ago, and it feels even more relevant today. This coming of age film addresses a lot of topics that we might all be dealing with right now: arguing with parents, applying for college, feeling out of place, falling in love, etc. Saoirse Ronan plays Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a senior at a Catholic High School. Lady Bird is desperate to leave her hometown of Sacramento, which she has dubbed the “Midwest of California,” and head to the East Coast, where she believes culture lives.
The film is centered around the complex yet loving relationship between Lady Bird and her mother, portrayed by Laurie Metcalf. The theme of class struggle is the main point of tension between Lady Bird and her mother. Lady Bird describes herself as someone who “lives on the wrong side of the tracks,” amidst her wealthy peers at school. There are few films that truly explore mother-daughter relationships, especially ones that can resonate with an audience through the power of empathy.
This movie changed my life when it first came out two years ago, and it feels even more relevant and powerful today. To be completely honest, most of the teen movies of the past decade have been kind of cheesy. I haven’t found any ones that I’ve been able to empathize with or appreciate. Lady Bird is the complete opposite because it is extremely sophisticated in the way it is vulnerable to the audience. It does not shy away from awkward, heart-breaking, or unpleasant scenes.
The film does not end in a particularly satisfying way; not everything is wrapped up into a neat little bow. However, the lesson that Lady Bird learns is one that we can all take into our own lives: appreciating where we come from. Like Lady Bird, I too want to leave home for New York. However, in wanting that escape, I have sometimes forgotten to enjoy Minnesota. As teenagers, we are all so close to becoming adults, going off to college, and “starting” our own lives that we forget that there is beauty in living in the present.