Lady Bird

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02 November 2017| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

The mature teen movie about a teen trying to attain maturity – even that’s been done countless times. To make it work, you need a fresh eye, the insightful ability to write up details that don’t make it into other movies, and a relatable girl you can care about (I was not a fan of “The Edge of Seventeen,” I could have cared less about her), and that said somebody also ought to remind you of somebody you knew in high school. Lady Bird has all of this in spades, and its writer-director Greta Gerwig (you know, the spunky, unflappable, actress with a knack for try-anything goof type of laugh – but you know, make it a smart goof) has made an assured debut with a credible ebb and flow to it. Her film is already the critical darling of 2017, and it’s obvious within moments as to why.

17-year old Christine (Saoirse Ronan, pitch-perfect in “Brooklyn” and pitch-perfect here) self-titles herself as Lady Bird, because it’s both a quirky thing to do and it will make her stand out. Taking place in the year 2002, Lady Bird goes to a supposedly strict Catholic school, and at home, her bossy mom (Laurie Metcalf, making tough love look achingly funny) is always berating her about money, life choices, and folding her clothes neatly.

The perfect guy in drama class is Lucas Hedges (the teen from “Manchester By the Sea,” somehow a perfect young actor), and simpatico, they dig each other. It feels obvious from the start that “Lady Bird” is going to be a love story, and the kind of love story that truly remembers what first love is really like. But it becomes more than that. There’s other characters, other complications, other slams on the growing up pains in plain old boring Sacramento, and gee, other characters still such as the family members – like Tracy Letts as the out of work dad who feels pathetic, but clearly loves his daughter.

“Lady Bird” is really about rebounding from the disappointments that happen when you’re entering young adulthood, and realizing there’s still fresh life ahead. It also deals with the issue of having sex too young. It feels like the right time, she thinks, but you can’t reach into the movie screen and yank these kids back and say, hey, you should wait.

I’ve never really had one high school movie that I loved so much that it obsessed me. This one didn’t either lift me to the scales of obsessive love. There are a bunch of high school comedies I like. So many titles. I liked “Say Anything” a lot. More down the spectrum, I liked “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” for instance, and wrote a positive review of it a few years back, and yet today I can’t even remember what happens in it. Maybe I don’t love high school movies in general because I know now that high school isn’t the best time in life, that people don’t really get interesting until they’ve moved beyond high school. I’m glad that this movie deals with the transition of her moving onto college.

“Lady Bird” is nonetheless better than most high school movies. I think I will remember it long-term. And Gerwig is one heck of a writer – she’s less Wes Anderson ironic than she is Jason Reitman observant.

94 Minutes. Rated R.

COMEDY-DRAMA / COMING OF AGE / WEEKEND PICK ME UP

Film Cousins: “Say Anything” (1989); “Juno” (2007); “Easy A” (2010); “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012).

Lady Bird_Positive - Reveiw_Post FlickMinute_2017

Summary
Reviewer
Sean Chavel
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Lady Bird
Author Rating
3
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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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