Lady Bird ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I don't know if I can put this succinctly. I will try.

I can't remember a time in my life where my mother and I weren't at each other's throats. Maybe when I was a baby. Growing up, I always felt like we were cats and dogs. Two completely different fucking species. I never understood her. She never understood me.

Lady Bird asks her mother if she likes her. Marion responds that obviously, she loves her. "But do you LIKE me?"

I have had this same conversation a million times. I see my own disappointment in Lady Bird's expressions. I see my mother's body language in Marion's.

Lady Bird and her best friend cry in the car together. Dave Matthews Band plays the entire time.

My best friend picks me up after a particularly nasty row with my mom. We park in the local McDonalds parking lot. Fergie is on the radio. I cry in her arms for hours.

My mother flies in to visit me for Thanksgiving. I tell her that I want us all to go and see Lady Bird. It's a good film for us, I say. Why, she asks. Because, I say. You're my mother and I'm your daughter.

Lady Bird and Marion love each other but cannot understand each other. Marion does not know how to help her and that frustrates. Lady Bird feels as if her own mother hates her. Again, I have felt this a million times.

I am out-voted by my own family, and we see another film that weekend. It is a bad film, and I am frustrated. I try to explain my frustrations and my mother tells me that I shouldn't take things so seriously. We have a fight in the streets of the city we are walking through. I cry the entire ride home in her backseat.

Lady Bird picks out her dress for prom, and her mother comments on it being "too pink". Lady Bird, saying nothing, walks sullenly back into her dressing room. "Why can't you just say that I look nice?"

Yesterday, after a similar scrutiny from my family, I yell at them in public. My family and I keep our distance from each other for the rest of the afternoon. I regret it immediately, but we are now walking on eggshells around each other. That night, I sit in her hotel room. She is telling me how my behavior has upset her. I agree. She tells me I have to communicate with her and not just hold everything inside me. I don't know how to tell her that I can't do that.

Lady Bird makes a comment in jest to her boyfriend about coming from the wrong side of the tracks. When Marion finds out, she is upset. This leads to another fight.

When I was in High School, I used art to vent my frustrations. I found my mother crying in her room over a piece of prose that I had written about a bad experience years earlier. "Is this how you see me?" She says, tears streaming down her face. I don't know how to tell her I was exaggerating in a private piece of writing. I don't say anything.

Lady Bird's parents drive her to the airport. Marion decides not to get out of the car -- parking is too expensive, she says. She drives away, circles around and comes back, crying. But it is too late.

Last night, my dad gets up to drive me back to my apartment. This is the last time I will see my family for a month. My mom decides not to come with. She gives me a weak hug. My dad and I leave. I do not know if my mother cried that night in her hotel room, or if she had wished she had come to see me off. This is a secret that I will never know.

In New York City, Lady Bird walks out of a church service and calls her mother. Her mother does not answer.

I walked out of this film about an hour ago. I walked the entire half an hour walk back to my apartment, coat shrugging off my shoulders and tears streaming down my face. Ugly crying. Laura Dern in Blue Velvet crying. Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine crying. I got a message from my mother. I wrote back that I missed her and that I loved her.

She read my message but did not respond.

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