Ladybird Is a Modern Coming-of-Age Story

by Colleen Yates ’18

With its portrayal of the college application process, confusing teen relationships, and highly charged arguments with parents, “Lady Bird” is an incredibly relatable film, with a totally relatable main character for teenagers. With a unique personality and social awkwardness, the film’s protagonist struggles to find her place in her family as well as her society. Lady Bird, whose real name is Christine, is a senior at a Catholic high school in Sacramento, California in 2002. While she struggles with relationships with boys, friends, and her parents, Lady Bird is able to keep her individualism and values with her at all times and rarely loses sight of herself. Saoirse Ronan (23) plays a believable 17-year-old and is able to accurately display the emotions and experiences that affect teenagers.

The movie most closely follows the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf), who somehow fail to successfully communicate despite their obvious similarities. They love and care about each other, but have trouble showing it and end up saying the wrong thing in almost every situation. When Lady Bird is trying on prom dresses, Marion struggles to say something positive and ends up arguing with Lady Bird over every dress she tries on. After Lady Bird’s father loses his job and struggles to find new work, the family becomes even tighter with money. Lady Bird’s mother works two shifts as a nurse, and she takes a job at a coffee shop. While Lady Bird wants to go to an East-Coast college, her mom wants her to remain instate so that it is more affordable. Although many of the adults in her life tell her that she will not get accepted, Lady Bird and her father (Tracy Letts) secretly apply to schools in New York along with filling out forms for financial aid and scholarships.

Lady Bird tries out many new things throughout the movie such as joining a musical and becoming part of a new group of people. While she tries to fit in with different cliques, she does not change herself or let others influence what she wants to do. Lady Bird can be impulsive and often has an unintentionally egotistical outlook on her life. This creates problems for her in friendships and her relationship with her mother. The movie has many ups and downs and is an emotional roller-coaster. While it took a little time to get going, “Lady Bird” is incredibly entertaining, moving, and relatable.