Watched Lady Bird with my mom, which is oddly appropriate in hindsight. Unless you’ve been totally living under a rock and off the grid, Lady Bird has been in the media and has been getting a lot of acclaim. Needless to say my expectations were relatively high.
What I liked
+ Lead actresses were fantastic, especially Laurie Metcalf — the mom. Their performances were emotional, raw, and — most importantly — believable and relatable.
+ The written dialogue was great: quirky, witty, humorous, concise but substantive. And it was all delivered spectacularly by the cast.
+ Overall, the story was very real. I think a lot of Hollywood movies these days are completely out of touch with day-to-day humanity/life. But Lady Bird, specifically Greta Gerwig’s screenplay, aptly captures the complicated nature of family and familial love. The dynamic between mom and daughter isn’t unfamiliar for many viewers. It is turbulent and intense; very raw and moving — especially during subtly tense moments in the movie. There were a lot of great scenes: the opening five minutes (so great), when mom and daughter are shopping for a prom dress, the airport scene, the phone call home at the end of the movie.
So why did I walk away feeling…
By all standards the movie was good, but it didn’t feel all that special. I heard so much acclaim. I heard so many “ooo”-s and “aaaah”-s, but I didn’t think it was groundbreaking or novel in any way. I think it did what it intended to do fantastically well (i.e. represent life in a Sacramento/borderline suburban (struggling middle class) family, depict the complicated dynamics of a mother-daughter relationship the spans the extremes of human personalities, etc.). One of my friends described it really well: maybe this style of storytelling is novel/rare to American media, which is why the movie has been hailed as such a phenomena. European movies do this all the time and they do it really well. So in my mind, I’m having a hard time justifying this hype.
That being said: I did enjoy the movie even if I didn’t find it particularly ground breaking. I’d give it an 8/8.5 out of 10 and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.