‘Lady Bird’ depicts realistic, hilarious teen experience

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It’s rare to see a movie about the teenage experience that’s smart, yet not pretentious. Hilarious, but not cliche. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” does it, and does it spectacularly.

There’s a point in pretty much everyone’s life where everything’s awkward—adolescents navigate failed romances, face the impending doom that is life after high school and wriggle underneath our parents’ authority.

“Lady Bird,” nominated in five Oscar categories, deftly explores the coming-of-age story. It’s the cinematic embodiment of looking back on your immature years and realizing it’s hilarious, even though it seemed like the end of the world then.

Christine (Saoirse Ronan), or her self-preferred name, “Lady Bird,” is a rebellious high school senior at a Catholic school in Sacramento. She has a best friend, Beanie, with whom she shares everything, including a newly found passion for theatre.

In one segment of the movie, Lady Bird and Beanie fall out of love as quickly as they fall into it, ending in a painfully relatable and comedic scene where the two girls are sobbing uncontrollably like they’ve been sentenced to death.

When Lady Bird leaves Beanie to pursue more popular friends, it doesn’t feel forced like some coming-of-age movies. It makes sense to Lady Bird—she’s exploring herself, and she’s honestly still herself when she is around these new friends. In “Lady Bird,” this arguably cliche scenario in movies focusing on teenagers feels real and necessary.

While Lady Bird has several romantic interests throughout the movie’s narrative, it’s never the focus of the story. The mishaps that she endures while dating all the wrong people propel her forward and force her to truly self-discover.

The titular character could be incredibly annoying in concept. She rebels for the sake of rebelling and tries to change her image, oftentimes based on the people around her.

Yet Saoirse Ronan portrays her so endearingly that all of Lady Bird’s flaws resonate with the angsty teen within all of us. We see her highs and her lows, and watching the movie is like experiencing all of the rockiness of adolescence with her.

“Lady Bird” also handles the relationships between daughter and family incredibly well. Christine’s family isn’t necessarily typical–she has both parents, but she also has an adopted older brother with a girlfriend who is practically part of the family.

Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, who plays Lady Bird’s mother, have a convincing dynamic that proves love isn’t always hugs and sweet words. Oftentimes it’s expressed in acting cold towards another person, hoping to make them stronger, or running into the airport after them when it’s much too late. It’s not perfect love, but it’s love nonetheless.

It’s not often a comedy finds its way into the hearts of the highest awards show judges, but “Lady Bird” deserves all of its considerations and nominations.

Take a trip down memory lane with this movie. It’s worth all of the awards it could get, yet when you watch it, it’s like seeing a perfect meme on Facebook that makes you say, “Oh my gosh, same.” It’s beautiful.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)