“Perfect”, I exclaimed, as the ending credits began of the movie Lady Bird. The movie tells of the life of a girl (Saoirse Ronan) who experiences the milestones of teenage years in Sacramento, California.
The usual suspects are there: sex, drug and alcohol use, along with social peer pressures, each of which is explored with sensitivity and humor.
A great example is the scene in which Lady Bird casually asks her mom when it would be a normal time to have sex as the two prepare for their respective days, in the small and only bathroom shared by the five members of the family.
The thing that I took away from the trials of Lady Bird as a teenager is that her mother, beautifully played by Laurie Metcalf, was not as provoked or upset by these as I might have been, being the mother of a daughter myself.
In fact, the major friction between mother and daughter is caused by Lady Bird’s departure for college.
The mom’s sad/mad attitude over the separation of her daughter shows a deep connection between them.
Other noteworthy themes running throughout the film are classism, where we glimpse a cruel side to Lady Bird as she turns her back on her longtime best friend, book smarts versus real life intelligence, and the search for self identity.
A telling scene between Lady Bird and her mom happens at the thrift shop, when Lady Bird asks her mom whether or not she likes her.
The mom responds with “I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be...” but does not really answer the question.
Another character in the film was the city of Sacramento, California. Only having been there a few times in my life, I found myself engaged in looking to see if I would recognize any of the areas filmed in the picture.
I became fascinated by Lady Bird’s town. The fact that I am mentioning this shows how well the director (Greta Gerwig) interwove the girl’s love for her “hometown” into the movie.
I believe we should all feel for our own city, our own community, which also helps formulate a healthy sense of self worth and esteem.
In the end, Lady Bird came across to me as an intelligent and determined young lady that was willing to explore possibilities and push boundaries in order to help her create a sense of identity.
Giving herself the name “Lady Bird” shows her playfulness and uniqueness.
Even small things, like Lady Bird’s habit of shaking hands with people is commented on.
This a habit that many people today do not do or even recognize as a long- held gesture of social connection.
A take-away message that stayed with me the most was presented when Lady Bird is talking with one of the nuns at her Catholic high school.
The nun shares her view regarding love, which she equates with attention.
For my part, I loved this film and it had my full attention.