Not everyone would take family advice from a movie, but when a title is 99% certified fresh on RottenTomatoes, the lessons might be worth listening to. I went into Lady Bird with no idea what the film’s actual plot was, and I exited speechless, contemplating if I should call my mother right then and there just to say “I love you.”
Saoirse Ronan stars as the self-proclaimed and titular Lady Bird, a name the character has given herself as she endures the rebellious phase all teenagers proclaim in high school. Her mother, Marion is a nurse. Her father just lost his job. She’s experiencing romance for the first time, she’s applying to colleges, she’s doing everything a normal teenager would.
So why is this movie so enticing to watch? My answer is plain and simple: it’s raw and deep and it explains all of the complications between our familial bonds that need to be explored. Without spoiling anything, Lady Bird finds a way to oppose her mother on every known subject on earth, yet the movie never loses its grip on their codependence on each other. We need our family, even when we disagree with them, because they bring out the best and worst sides of us. We can discover ourselves through the daily interactions we have with the people in our nuclear household.
When I moved to Los Angeles for college, I was walking around the campus with my father, someone I never saw eye-to-eye with. Yet, after a few simple words, he told me “I’m going to leave now. It’s going to be quick. I’m not going to look back.” And that was the moment I realized how much of an influence he had on me. All those years growing up, I felt disconnect. But right then and there, I started bawling.
At the end of the day, yes there’s an inherent bond between parent and child, but sometimes we take that for granted. Parents don’t need to just challenge their kids, but kids need to challenge their parents. And that’s what Lady Bird does.
And it does it expertly.