We all judge films from some perspective based on our own experience. Recently, I reviewed Post and Darkest Hour both which deal with subject matter I am familiar with. I also think they are both excellent films.
So I should start my review of Lady Bird with the disclaimer. It’s a film about a teenage girl growing up, it focuses on her relationship with her parents, particularly her mother and her relationship with her friends. I have no experience of bringing up teenage girls so I am unable to comment from an informed basis as I was with Post and Darkest Hour.
There are critics who think that Lady Bird will be the best film of 2018. I am not one of them. But then I did not have a teenage daughter.
I found the film extremely boring because it’s full of clichés. The main character, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, played brilliantly by Saoirse Ronan, is a nightmare child, with almost no redeeming features.
That’s probably a bit unfair she is a very good friend to Julianne “Julie” Steffans played by Beanie Feldstein.
But for the most part, she is a fairly unsympathetic character. She lies about where she lives to impress the prettiest girl in class, she lies about her maths grades after she has stolen the maths teacher’s gradebook.
Much of her life seems to be stereotyped and clichéd and if you create a character Made up of enough clichés, many teenage girls are likely to identify with her, similarly her relationship with her mother seems to be a cliché as well.
And then there are the nuns, wise, humane, forgiving, understanding of the wayward young teenager.
And then there’s the ending. The wayward teenager realises the errors of the ways, goes to church, realises her parents were right all along. Hallelujah.