I generally don’t like high school movies. I think I’m the only one I know who doesn’t like The Breakfast Club. I hated high school, so returning to it through a movie is usually not nostalgic for me at all, but just reminds me of a life that I’m glad is over.
But there are notable exceptions. Lady Bird is now one of them.
The movie takes us through Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson’s senior year of high school in 2002, as she prepares for college, contemplates sex, gets herself into various shenanigans, and experiences some serious senioritis. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel) is fantastic and makes us love 17-year-old “Lady Bird,” as her character insists on being called.
Lady Bird is at once unique and familiar, charming and incorrigible. She attends Immaculate Heart High School in Sacramento, California, and doesn’t love it (for now). In between classes, chapel services, and working at a coffee shop, she longs for New York City, and expresses nothing but disdain for her home town.
Lady Bird doesn’t just long for New York, she acts as if she’s already been cultured by the city life. “You haven’t even been to New York,” her friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein, Neighbors 2, Fan Girl) has to remind her. Lady Bird is humorously pretentious, and yet quite genuine. As a Brooklyn resident, I can tell she belongs in the city.