lady birdA24
2017
R

“I hate California, I want to go to the east coast. I want to go where culture is like, New York, or Connecticut, or New Hampshire.”

When it comes to pop culture, I’ve always said it’s okay to have a preference. It doesn’t mean that you can’t branch out and try new things; it just means that, in the whole scheme of things, you know what you like, and you’re comfortable with that. For instance, it’s no big secret that I’m a fan of horror movies. But, I do have close friends that like normal movies. Or, as some of them like to put it, “good movies”. That’s debatable. The point is, if the buzz is good surrounding a movie that normally wouldn’t be within my particular demographic, let’s just say, I’m not averse to check it out to see what the noise is all about.

Such was the situation with the movie Lady Bird. This was a movie that you couldn’t get away from the buzz it was making. It was praised left and right, being touted as thee movie to see in 2017. I don’t know if it won any kind of award, as I don’t keep abreast with those thing. But, the praise for Lady Bird was strong enough that, despite it being described as a kind of coming-of-age movie, I decided to check out the moment it became available for free streaming with my Prime membership. Hey, I was interested, but I still didn’t want to pay much for something I’m probably going to watch once, bang out a review of, and then probably forget about later in the week. Or month. Or, whatever.

So, after watching it, I have to come out and say it: Lady Bird is vastly overrated. Keep in mind, I went into this kinda wanting to like it. I have no problem with coming of age movies, and this one seemed interesting, with its premise of a Catholic high school girl’s senior year and all the stuff that goes with these kind of things in movies. We come in with the titular character and her mother driving back from a college visit, then beginning her senior year, where, in the course of the entire school year, she worries about trying to get into a college that’s not in California — preferably a romanticized New York college that her favorite authors went to — while her family struggles to make ends meet; she joins a school musical production, falls in love with her first boyfriend who turns out to be gay and kind of using her as a coverup, she hooks up with another boy who is in a band and ditches her best friend for one of the rich girls as her totes BFF, loses her virginity and breaks up with the current BF in one fell swoop, makes up with her original BFF and talks about cheese and other stuff with her instead of going to prom, discovers that she has, indeed, been accepted into one of the New York colleges against her mother’s wishes, then flies out to said college, only to promptly get alcohol poisoning at a party, then calling and leaving a message on her parents’ answering machine that she loves her mom. Then the movie ends abruptly. Throughout this movie, it’s interspersed with her arguing and fighting with her mother over various things, and shopping at thrift stores. Oh, and she starts going by her real name at the end. Because that signifies maturity, I guess.

Lady Bird, for me at least, was kind of the movie watching equivalent to driving west-bound on I-80 through Nebraska; there are some interesting things to look at, and once in a while you find yourself enjoying a bit or two, but when it comes down to it, the beats are recognizable and over half-way through you begin wondering how much longer until you finally reach the end destination. With, of course, the occasional pause to hit a rest stop on the way.

There was a lot to like about this movie, though: the acting was great, especially the dynamic between Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf as her mother. And yes, because of Laurie Metcalf, I began to pretend that this was a spin-off of the original run of Rosanne, which made things a bit more fun.

But anyway, no, I concede that Lady Bird isn’t a bad movie. It is rather good, yes…but it’s not my cup of black-as-my-heart coffee. I’m really more of a Wes Anderson type when it comes to “normal” movies. And that is really all I have to say about that.

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