Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" Is Not The Standard Teen Film

Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" Is Not The Standard Teen Film

The mother-daughter relationship is the film's strong point.

Lady Bird may seem like it is your run of the mill teenage movie about high school, but it is much more than that. The film is centered around Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, who is a teenage girl with such a charismatic and hilarious personality that you want to learn more about her from the second the film begins.

Some stereotypical topics of coming of age movies are delved into in the film, like sex and drugs, but the film truly shines in its portrayal of the mother-daughter dynamic. A common issue that I’ve seen in coming of age movies is that the parents in the film are very obviously the “bad guy.” There are more flaws shown in the parent than in the child, so it ends up being natural for the audience to root for the child when they rebel. In Lady Bird that is not the case because the audience is able to see the multiple flaws that both Lady Bird and her mother possess, and how their differences in character cause them to clash.

Lady Bird and her mother get stuck in a cycle of Lady Bird wanting her mother to put more faith in her and her mother wanting to be shown some gratitude for the amount of support she has already given to her daughter. Both characters are stubborn and prideful, and it prevents them from making any progress in understanding one another better.

Lady Bird has big dreams of going to a university on the East Coast and being able to immerse herself in a culture she sees as more interesting, but her mother views her longing for adventure as a slap in the face. She does not understand why the life she has built for Lady Bird and the rest of their family is unsatisfactory, but instead of tackling the issue head-on, she makes passive aggressive comments towards her daughter. Lady Bird, in turn, gets frustrated because she feels like her mother thinks she is incapable of amounting to anything and that her best bet is to stay in the security of her own home. Their refusal to communicate only increases their annoyance with one another until their emotions are bursting at the seams.

At certain points in the film it seems like Lady Bird and her mother have resolved their past conflicts and that they were able to enjoy each other’s company once again, but then one of them would find something to pick on about the other person and then all of their past fights would come flooding out again. Many parents and children feel like the arguments they have with one another happen out of the blue, and the unpredictability of the fights between Lady Bird and her mother makes their relationship seem all the more authentic.

Greta Gerwig, the director of Lady Bird, did a phenomenal job of accurately displaying this kind of relationship between a mother and a daughter. She made me laugh and cry with the conversations between Lady Bird and her mother, and I believe that Gerwig deserves the Academy Award for Best Director. She was able to make a film that seemed like it would be a light-hearted high school film into an emotional experience that makes you reflect on the relationship you have with your own parents.

Cover Image Credit: The Mary Sue

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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