If you know me, you know Lady Bird and Ferris Bueller's Day Off take up way too much space in my brain. Coming-of-age stories always strike a chord in me, and I'm sure you've experienced it too. When what you're watching on screen reflects something you've faced in real life, you feel a spark. Here are 7 times I felt that spark.
1. When "Lady Bird" and her mom had a conversation we never want to have with our parents
Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson: I just, I wish that you liked me.
Marion McPherson: Of course I love you.
Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson: But do you like me?
Marion McPherson: I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be.
Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson: What if this is the best version?
Sometimes it feels like parents expect too much from their kids, who are already stretching themselves thin. I also like how this exchange made a distinction between "like" and "love." No matter what a child says, they want their parents' approval; they want their parents to like them. There comes a point when both the parent and the child realize that the kid is trying their best and that is something to be proud of. I don't know, this scene just really hits.
2. When Ferris Bueller explained teenage boredom in three seconds
Cameron: I'm dying.
Ferris: You're not dying, you just can't think of anything good to do.
Growing up in a small town, I've felt this a lot. I don't know if this is a universal teenage experience or if it's just me, but when I have nothing to do, I feel kind of... bleh, you know? Like my insides are rotting or something. I always want something to do, otherwise I'll just feel like a zombie. Of course, there was a lot more going on with Cameron Frye, but that's an article for another day.
3. When Molly gave her speech at graduation
Molly: I was so scared of you. I felt like I had to prove that I was better than you. But really I don't know any more than you guys. All I know is that we have a lot more to learn, because this part's over, and that's so sad. But it was great, wasn't it? Things are never going to be the same, but it was perfect. And I may not have before, but I see you now. And you're all pretty great. Don't let college **** it up. Congratulations.
For me, part of high school and a lot of young adulthood in general was based around trying to prove myself. I don't know why, but I felt like I had to do everything (and be good at it) so other people would approve of me.
I didn't want to be corrected or criticized. Somewhere around the start of junior year, though, I learned that no one has any idea what they're doing, and it's much better to be kind and understanding than it is to be an over-competitive know-it-all. Thank you, Molly from Booksmart, for putting it into better words than I ever could.
4. When Mean Girls was... well... Mean Girls
Karen: So that's against the rules, and you can't sit with us.
Regina: Whatever. Those rules aren't real.
Karen: They were real that day I wore a vest!
Regina: Because that vest was disgusting!
Gretchen: You can't sit with us!
Mean Girls told a coming-of-age story through a more comedic and exaggerated lens, but this moment has always stuck with me. It feels like one of the most realistic interactions in the whole movie. The girls are finally fed up with Regina, and a lot of it came to surface thanks to Cady's meddling.
The movie is a great example of what can happen when people aren't in genuine friendships and only spend time with certain people for popularity or attention. There's nothing wrong with those things, by the way, but it does become a problem when people start to get obsessed (especially impressionable teenagers). I feel like we all know or have been in a friend group just like this. Nothing good usually comes of it.
5. When Brian from The Breakfast Club basically described every Billie Eilish song
Brian: Like, when I step outside myself kinda, and when I, when I look in at myself, you know? And I see me and I don't like what I see, I really don't.
Who doesn't love some teen angst? He's right, though. I'm not the biggest fan of this movie, but I really like Brian. I like him because every single person I've met has felt this way about themselves. There will always be better people to compare yourself to, and you can't help but pick apart your own shortcomings. High school years are especially rife with that. Some people try to better themselves after they self-reflect, but it's a long journey (one that doesn't end, in my opinion).
I know Brian's a few steps away from being angst cringe like Jughead from Riverdale, but he is expressing something important here. It's just like the first quote; a lot of young people don't feel like they're good enough to be accepted by themselves or the people they love.
(I wasn't joking about the Billie thing either; idontwannabeyouanymore is this exact sentiment turned into a song).
6. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is coming-of-age. Be quiet and let me have this.
Someone tagged this gif as "ultimate hot dad," and I really don't know how to react to that.
Atticus: [My dad said that] I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Atticus: Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.
What would we do without Atticus Finch? Every ninth grader in America has read the book and watched the movie, and I'm glad. Mockingbird has a lot to say about injustice and compassion. This quote barely needs an explanation. Just leave innocent people alone; don't try to ruin someone's life for your own pleasure. Pay attention to yourself and appreciate the gifts that others have to offer the world.
7. When Cher Horowitz was the leader we needed, but didn't deserve
Cher: So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, "What about the strain on our resources?" Well it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. 'cause it was a sit-down dinner.
But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin'. I had to haul *** to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings.
But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians.
And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.
I debated cutting this quote down, but all of it is too good. As funny as this is, she makes a point. In a world that seemingly grows in its vitriol, a little compassion can go a long way. That's all.
As always, thank you for reading this! I really appreciate it. I hope that even if you couldn't relate to these quotes, you enjoyed them. Also, please watch Lady Bird if you haven't already. Please.