Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I wished that you liked me.

My senior year in high school couldn't have been more idyllic. I attended a super-small private high school tucked away in a rainy town on the Big Island of Hawai'i. It had the greatest assortment of teachers ever assembled, a mere three academic classes a day, an infinite number of beautiful girls, and - get this - an off-campus lunch break of just under an hour. Hell, you couldn't really ask for anything more, right?

And even better, during these wondrous times known as the late-nineties, my parents were not only raking it in, but, as far I was concerned...they were actually happy. With each other!

But like any senior in high school...

I was so f--king over all of it. 

Lady Bird, outside of a jarring(ly hilarious) opening sequence, is presented as fiction, but could easily pass for a f--king straight-up documentary of the day-to-day shit-storm that goes with being an annoying, cluelessly self-absorbed high school know-it-all. Even though I wasn't a Catholic school girl traversing the pitfalls of Sacramento in the early aughts, I sure as shit saw a lot of my (hopefully former) self and my friends in this flick. But even more frightening...I started to see some of my own kids in it, too. I'm already starting to feel bad for my wife...

Greta Gerwig, making her directorial debut, perfectly captures the relentless awful that goes with the best time of your life. That time where we're all overcompensating for how little we know be being know-it-all a-holes. It's the f--king worst, sure, but being, um, twenty years past all that noise, it's also kind of the best.

When we meet Christine McPherson (the impeccable Saoirse Ronan), currently answering to Lady Bird, she's in the midst of a pre quarter-life crisis. It's her senior year and she's desperate to attend college on the East Coast. Unfortunately, not only is her family's current financial situation less than ideal, Lady Bird isn't necessarily Ivy League material. She's smart...enough...but there isn't much in her application to make her a stand out. She decides to diversify a bit, and joins the school's theater program. Though her part's small, she scores big: Lady Bird finds a boyfriend. Awww.

Problem(s) solved.

Not at all actually, as this burgeoning romance only further puts Lady Bird at odds with her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf, basically playing the f--king T-1000). Theirs was a relationship that was beyond strained anyhow, and each new development in Lady Bird's life seems to send them deeper down the rabbit hole of never speaking to one another again. It's equal parts hysterical and gut-wrenching, as both mother and daughter seem to take joy in knocking the piss out of one another when it would be far easier not to. 

 (Prom) Dress shopping? With mom? Put me down as a hard no. In pen.
Personally, I don't remember loathing my parents to this or any degree (though my dad's insistence that I was always clean-shaven did make me want to take the razor to my throat [like, that was his only rule...that he didn't even bother to follow], but Lady Bird and her mom go at each other relentlessly. I see the same dynamic between my sister and our mom, my wife and her mother, and I dread how this unfolds for my daughter, Violet. *shudder* Good thing I'm Dad, because that f--ker always seems to get off easy. Well, other than the fact that he has to deal with Mom during the aftermath.

Speaking of irrational entities, lets see what the Yays and Boos are up to. My wife and I saw this film weeks ago in Baltimore (at the Charles Theater downtown...fancy, right? [not really, but still]) after leaving our kids with my mom for an overnight getaway. While that may seem like a useless tidbit, it just might explain my pure elation when I cheer and jeer this sumbitch....and the reason these bullet points are more vague than usual.

All right, I'll ask!
Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?
  • Our Uber driver drove like he straight up hated us and our safety. The Yay? We got there with plenty of time to spare.
  • Maybe Lady Bird loathes it, but I'm all about Sacramento. Er, Sack Town. The Bay Area and back down. 
  • Those campaign posters were dope.
  • I'm sorry, I really am, I mean...she was born when I graduated high school (almost to the day), but that Jenna Walton is pretty frickin' hot. Er, that's what my, um, nephew said.
  • Math Teacher Guy was a solid individual. At least I think he was. I did get a bit of a creeper vibe at times....
  • Okay, the soundtrack is basically incredible. Any time we get an onscreen slow dance to Bone Thugs, the only thing six inches is in my lap.
  • Beanie Feldstein, in addition to have the raddest name ever, was so f--king awesome as Lady Bird's best friend, Julie. I just wanted to have her do my hair and talk about boys all night long. Then in the morning, maybe have breakfast with her mom. She seemed fun. Bags.
  • I wasn't much of a drama nerd, but holy shit, had our football coach been running the show? I think I would have been in every play ever. You know, assuming our school had a football coach. And team.
  • Honestly, I wanted to hate Kyle so much, but he's actually kind of awesome, in that I don't believe in money we should all barter instead kind of way. Timothee Chalamet totally nails that f--king guy we all knew in high school. 
  • Dude, Lady Bird totally annihilates that guest speaker lady. Ouch.
  • As much as the women were all awesome in their horribly dramatic ways, can we just put our hands together for Dad? What a solid, level-headed individual this dude was. 
  • And finally, Saoirse Ronan kicks so much f--king ass as Lady Bird, I absolutely loved her. So much in fact, she almost undoes how much she traumatized me all those years back in Atonement.  
This f--king kid.
  • At first, her brother was a real dick. Like, who gives a shit about the magazines, Miguel?
  • Cloves. Sweet Jesus...those awful smelling shit-sticks bring me back.
  • Aw, small Christmas.
  • Okay, this is kind of weird, and I'm honestly not looking to watch some high school kids get it on...but if that was really Kyle's first time...uh, c'mon, Lady Bird. Lose the uh...nevermind....I'll just slither back to my van.
  • But, girl...that nosebleed? I got your back on that shit. Name a situation in life where it would suck to be bleeding from your face...and I've been there.
  • Ruh-roh, that was probably the last person you'd want to see at a job interview.
  • Ugh. Those f--kers who want to like, ditch prom, were the worst. Oh, I get it. Prom is kind of lame. But sometimes, it's actually pretty edgy to just, like, do normal shit.
  • C'mon, LB. You gotta be better than being the girl that drinks too much at a college party and wakes up in the hospital. At least the epiphany probably felt good.
  • And finally, maybe I'll never truly understand it, but good God was Mom a total f--king joykiller. It's not that she was necessarily evil or anything, but she never, ever put her f--king guard down. Maybe it's tough love, maybe it's a front to deal with her own insecurities, but whatever it was, it was nothing short of suffocating. I wasn't mad at Lady Bird's mom (well, not really), I actually felt really, really sorry for her. And a bit nervous, too. That lap around the airport actually was so f--king tense!
As an adult, I can clearly see the error of my selfish ways as a high-schooler, even if I was more or less a pretty good dude. I didn't argue much with either of my parents, and didn't really get into anything resembling trouble (it's actually kind of pathetic, looking back). And no bullshit, my son looks like he's going to be the same way.

But it's not the boy I'm worried about. 

It's the girl. 

(and my daughter, too)


  1. I loved Lady Bird. At times I thought I was watching parts of my own high school relatinoship with my mother and I cried like a baby at the end of it.

    I need to own this movie.

    1. I 900% get how any young woman could see herself in this movie. Hell, I saw some of myself in it...and I'm (pretty much) a man.

      Personally, I don't really remember getting/feeling emotional at the end...which is surprising. A sad enough commercial and I'm usually a mess.

      Ooh, a purchase? Go for it. (I was thinking I might buy Shape of Water, myself)

  2. This movie bored me and annoyed me so damn much. Derivative and overrated as hell, this review was about 100x more entertaining.

    1. Bored? Really? I don't see it. But 'annoyed'? That I totally get. Half the time I wanted to scream at everyone involved...but mainly because I'm a jerk.

      Let me do some math...boredom + annoyance...multiplied by one hundred? Is that a good thing? Sounds like a f--king nightmare for you...

      (thanks for the link over at the corner...awesome)

    2. Initially I was going to go o rly is that how we roll now, you thank me here and don't even move your sexy butt over to the corner to do that? but considering what you've just sat through (I fell off my chair laughing) I'll say:

      You're welcome :)

    3. I will visit the corner to show my true appreciation, but... at this rate? I'm pretty sure you owe me.

      Yep. Tables.

  3. Love this movie and your review! But oh man, why did you have to bring up Atonement? My heart hurts again!

    1. Thank you, Allie. I had a really, really good time with it. Glad you liked it as well.

      Ha! I barely remember Atonement, other than the fact that a young Saoirse was a rather evil child...? (I'm not even sure that's correct, honestly)