Lady Bird

Lady Bird ★★★★★

I completely adored Lady Bird and I want to see it again asap.

Lady Bird so perfectly expresses the complete selfish unkindness of teenagers. The self obsession and anger. Christine’s relationship with her mother is relatable to me, even though my mom is nothing like Marion. But the mother/daughter relationship is so intense, especially during teen years. The absolute hatred, disgust, and distrust of our mothers so delicately coupled with love and the deepest desire for acceptance.

I adored every performance in this movie. Saoirse and Laurie were both simply incredible. But my heart belongs to Beanie Feldstein.

While watching, I couldn’t help but imagine an alternate movie running parallel to Lady Bird, starring Julie. I identified with Julie to a degree that I found painful, and it left me wanting so so much more. The archetypal “fat friend” is a cliché but is not often actually explored in any kind of honest way, or in a way actually sympathetic to the fat friend’s humanity. The movie did sideline Julie, which may be fair as it’s not a movie about Julie, and probably very honest to the way fat friend is sidelined by everyone, including the thin, beautiful best friend.

Julie is eager to be Good and to be liked by her teachers and her friends. It hurt to look at, because it feels very familiar. To crave in the most desperate way the attention of boys or men while understanding to at least a degree that you will Not. Ever. Get it. No matter how smart or funny or talented or sweet or kind the fat friend is, the beautiful friend will get it because she deserves it. (She doesn’t.)

The fat friend must make herself smaller in other ways. She must not ever assert herself to beautiful friend because her friend’s love might be conditional. We see the ease with which Christine drops her best friend. We see the casual cruelty of the beautiful friend that we fat friends know well. Hearing our beautiful friend talk about how she needs to lose weight. We nod knowingly, supportively. We do not know how to express, or know it’s possible to protest, the entitlement our beautiful friend feels to attention, success, friendship, and romance. Beautiful friend feels entitled to it because she is. We look longingly at a boy, any boy, and it hurts because he will not ever be ours. The pain is 100 times worse when beautiful friend sees him too. He will be hers and we will nod knowingly, supportively. This is as it should be and will always be. We learn to accept this early and learn to wait on the side. We cry where beautiful friend won’t see. We learn to carry this pain by ourselves. Julie, Julie, Julie. I see you and I know you and I love you so much.

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