Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Lady Bird is Everything You & I Wanted it to Be

Before tonight, I don't know the last time I heard Dave Matthews Band in a non-ironic circumstance. I also don't know the last time I heard Crash Into Me before seeing Lady Bird tonight. Greta Gerwig un-ironically calling Crash Into Me the most romantic song ever written might be the best fact I learned about her.

So, Lady Bird. Where to begin? First of all, that was the most filled theatre I've ever been in on a Tuesday night at 8pm. The only seats left not in the very front were on the end of the row and still pretty close. I would've been upset if I wasn't so gosh darned proud.

Second of all, it lived up to all my expectations and hopes and dreams. Go see this movie. Greta Gerwig created something absolutely incredible and painfully relatable.

Probably my favorite part of the movie...who am I kidding? The whole movie was my favorite part.

But anyway, there's this part where Lady Bird is trying to act cool in front of this guy she likes and pretends to know where/what the Deuce is. Eventually, she finagles her way into having a girl take her there. Spoiler alert: the Deuce is a parking lot. Lady Bird makes a quip about how it's a little ridiculous that they left one parking lot (their high school lot) to hang out in another parking lot. Something about hanging out in parking lots is so universal to the high school experience. I loved it.

The movie's chockfull of moments like that. Moments that just made you feel seventeen all over again.

After Lady Bird kisses Danny for the very first time, she runs home and screams in absolute pure joy because the boy she wanted to kiss, kissed her. I thought it was genius to have Lady Bird coming home riding this exuberant high of being liked by somebody only to find out that her dad lost his job and the family may not have enough money to keep their house. Both of these problems, money and whether or not the person you like likes you back, seem monumental. Especially in high school.

It's a love letter to Sacramento and I think Lady Bird's college application essay does a perfect job of explaining a lot of high school seniors' attitudes about their hometown. The first thing we really learn about Lady Bird is that she's desperate to leave Sacramento and go to the east coast where writers write in cabins in woods and culture exists everywhere. We learn that she despises Sacramento.

However, the nun (she goes to a Catholic high school) who reads her college essay says that it's very clear how much she loves Sacramento which confuses Lady Bird. It's only when she gets to college in New York, the place she was dying to go, does she feel the love for her home. Honestly, the voicemail that movie ends with might be one of my favorite endings of all time.

I just really like it because the main conflict of the movie, I felt, rested on Lady Bird's relationship with her mother. By the end of the movie, they're not speaking. Lady Bird's dad gives her a cell phone to take to college and to only use "In Case of Emergency." Earlier in the movie, a girl confesses to answering her "In Case of Emergency" cell phone in the middle of sex. The other girls laugh and ask if she answered it, but Lady Bird's best friend, Julie, is more interested in what the emergency was.

So, when the time comes for Lady Bird to use her cell phone to leave this rambling voicemail after a night of getting blackout drunk during her first weekend of college, the emergency isn't that she just blackout drunk and taken to the hospital. No, no. The emergency is that Lady Bird had to tell her mom that she loved her. And that's forking beautiful.

This whole movie was such a beautiful encapsulation of this insanely turbulent time in our lives. Where we're young enough to think we can take on the world without anyone holding us back, but too young to realize that we are not the center of the universe. It's the time where you say dumb stuff because you forget that everyone around you is a person too with hopes, dreams, fears, loves, losses, aches, pains, and triumphs. I think it's easy to forget that. Especially when you're young.

Something about this movie kind of just burrowed itself in my heart and it made me feel at ease and at home. I loved it.

I know I'm going to see this at least a few more times in theatres. I hope that it gets the recognition it deserves. If Saoirse Ronan got a nomination Brooklyn, then she sure as shit deserves one for this movie. And Greta Gerwig deserves a nomination for screenplay and directing. @ The Academy: Don't snub this like you snubbed 20th Century Women.

My car for the longest time has been named Don after Don Draper from Mad Men, but I've decided to rename it. I'm going to call it Lady Bird. I think it suits it.

(Also, I saw Thoroughbreds and WOW. What a wild movie. Not as life-affirming as Lady Bird, but good lord was it a fun, dark rollercoaster of a comedy. Also, I am in love with Olivia Cooke. That's all.)