Calling all 90s gals (and anyone really)! Lady Bird is tailor-made for kids of the late 80s & early 90s but its entertainment value reaches beyond simple nostalgia. The way it defines some teenage tropes with heaps of detail and leaves others shrouded in the ambiguity that haunts adolescence makes it the most realistic coming of age story I’ve ever seen. Although Lady Bird focuses on a white Californian middle class family in the early 2000s, the characters and situations are relatable on all sorts of levels - from teenage angst to fickle high school romance to the weird ways we find to relate to other people.
Saoirse Ronan’s Lady Bird née Christine is practically flawless and her sense of self is inspiring. Personally, I relate more to her best friend Julie, who’s a little less outgoing and desperately in love with her math teacher (S/O to Mr. Himes!). Greta Gerwig’s characters are so detailed it’s honestly easy to get sucked into these people’s lives and forget their stories only exist in this 90 minute slice. My favorite detail is the girls’ habit of daydreaming about the lives they live in the fancy houses they walk past on their way home from school - I literally still do this with my sister when we walk through nice neighborhoods. I’ve never seen this in a film before and it is one of the many points in the movie where I was elated by the sheer relatability of it. This goes to show that when we have more filmmakers from different backgrounds and with different points of views we get more unique, diverse content.
Lady Bird is an all-encompassing coming of age story but what makes it so special is its focus on girls. The male characters are present and interesting but they are far overshadowed by the female stars. In a society that continues to trivialize the female experience (even as we fight back against it) Lady Bird brings an important weight to issues that are specific to young women. Coupled with its honest depiction of the excitement, anger, and confusion that surround the transition from childhood to adulthood, Lady Bird is the perfect 21st century summation of the teenage reality.