07 December 2017 // At Villanova University

How "Lady Bird" Speaks Truth To Catholic School Girls Everywhere

Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age film is everything you want and more.

Annie Condodina

By now, you've heard of "Lady Bird" , Greta Gerwig's critically acclaimed film that broke the Rotten Tomatoes record just last week for the most positively reviewed film on the site, with a 100% fresh rating. It beat "Toy Story 2". Skeptical? Don't be.

The coming-of-age film chronicles Christine McPherson, portrayed exquisitely by Saoirse Ronan , and her senior year of high school in 2002. Except Christine doesn't like to be called Christine. She much prefers Lady Bird, her so-called given name in that "I gave it to myself, it was given to me by me," she says with conviction.

She struggles to strike the perfect balance for which we all yearn at the end of adolescence; striving for independence but still depending on her family, changing and unchanging in a simultaneous fashion that is both troubling and somehow soothing as she moves towards graduation day.

We witness the heartwarming but turbulent nature of Lady Bird's relationship with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), the heartwrenching honesty of her first loves, and the thrilling agony of the American college process. But perhaps the most dazzling magic of Ms. Gerwig's semi-autobiographical film comes from the place we are least expecting it: a Catholic, all-girls high school.

The script is so honest and well-written, accompanied by visuals so beautifully raw and real, that I could have not envisioned a more perfect depiction of this setting. It's in the details: your skirt isn't always perfectly straight, and you never wear makeup (thank you, Saoirse, for showing your acne). You try out for the school musical but never have to worry because they never make cuts, even if it means making up parts for people to play. You go to church and you get to sit with your friends, you get in trouble for a too-short skirt, and you would rather wear a sweatshirt than a sweater vest on any day.

You meet boys from your brother school and go to dances with them. But your true romances are found in your best friends who wear your uniform. And they just might be a better prom date than a boy could ever be.

This movie has my heart, and it speaks truth to anyone similar to me, not used to seeing a version of myself on the movie theater screen. A blissful 94 minutes of nothing short of perfection and truth. See "Lady Bird" while you can. And then see it a second time, because you'll want to.