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The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Why Every Senior Should Watch “Lady Bird”

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In the opening scene, we see Lady Bird and her mother sleeping next to each other, hinting at the significance of their mother daughter relationship throughout the rest of the movie

As we are closing off the year, many seniors look back to their countless high school memories and feel a sense of nostalgia. Most of us have significantly matured throughout these four years, and sometimes, these memories make us feel like the protagonist of a coming-of-age movie. Linda Tsai (12) remarked, “My years in high school taught me a lot of lessons. There are many moments that felt like a movie.” So, to end the year, let me introduce to you one of my favorite coming-of-age movies, Lady Bird.

 

Lady Bird follows the story of a girl named Christine, who gave herself the name of “Lady Bird” as she goes through her final year of high school. This movie seems more like a series of moments captured in Lady Bird’s life rather than a clear cohesive story. However, this style of storytelling works perfectly to capture the short and fleeting moments of high school. It is something that most seniors experience, which makes the movie all the more valuable to watch during senior year.

 

In the beginning of the movie, Lady Bird argues with her mother in the car as they talk about her college aspects. She wants to go to an out of state school, but when her mother yells at her and tells her that she is ungrateful and won’t get in anyways, she flings herself out of the car. This is one of the most moving and shocking first scenes in any movie, and it perfectly captures the conflict Lady Bird and her mother will face throughout the rest of the movie.

 

Since the movie is less story-based, I will be talking about the different themes rather than summarizing the movie in chronological order. Firstly, Lady Bird’s rocky relationship with her mother is a central theme in her journey. One of my favorite scenes between the two is when Lady Bird is picking out a prom dress, and her mother comments negatively about the dress. Then, Lady Bird says, “I wish that you liked me”. Her mother then replied that she loved her, to which Lady Bird heartbreakingly responded by saying, “But do you like me?” To me, this is one of the most relatable scenes as it perfectly captures the dynamic between a child and their parents. Sometimes, a parent can love their child so much, but their personalities are so fundamentally different that they don’t get along. They love each other, but they don’t like each other. This is the root of all the conflict between Lady Bird and her mother. Lady Bird is more spontaneous and expressive, while her mother is calculated and reserved, and even though they love each other, they cannot understand each other fundamentally sometimes. One of their main conflicts is when Lady Bird hides the fact that she is applying to out-of-state colleges from her mother to avoid disagreements, which ends up blowing up in her face as her mother stops speaking to her near the last few weeks of her senior year. This leads to a heartbreaking end as the mother drives back to the airport, regretting her choice of not talking to her daughter.

 

The theme of maturity is present in Lady Bird’s romantic relationships. At the beginning of the story, Lady Bird tries out for the play at her Catholic High School, where she meets Danny. She starts a romantic relationship with Danny, which ends badly when she finds him cheating on her with a guy. After months of them supposedly not talking, Lady Bird shows her maturity by comforting Danny as he breaks down about how he does not know how to come out to his extremely religious parents. During the second half of the movie, Lady Bird meets Kyle, who cares about real-world issues, but he ironically treats everyone around him horribly. He is completely out of touch with reality, and he struggles to understand Lady Bird on a deeper level. He lies to Lady Bird about being a virgin, and when she loses her virginity to him, the lie unfolds. At the end of the movie, Lady Bird realizes she has spent this whole time chasing after a guy who is clearly not compatible with her, so she rekindles her friendship with Julie, and they go to prom together.

 

Speaking of Julie, Lady Bird’s friendship with her is also a main theme in the movie. When she ditches Julie for Kyle and Jenna, it shows Lady Bird’s desire to be liked by the people she wants to be. She has always looked up to Jenna and is willing to become her friend, even if it means ditching Julie and the rest of her theater friends. Throughout the rest of the movie, as Lady Bird finds herself, she realizes that her true friend is Julie and that it is useless to try to become someone cooler when you already have an amazing friend who understands the true you.

 

Through these glimpses of her senior year, Lady Bird discovers herself again. In college, she introduces herself as “Christine,” which is the name her mother gave her. This marks a milestone in her growth, and it shows that she has become an independent adult who does not need to make up names for herself to feel good about herself. Overall, every senior can take a few of these lessons in Lady Bird and apply them to their own lives. Hopefully, we can all continue to grow and mature through college and throughout the rest of our lives.

“My years in high school taught me a lot of lessons. There are many moments that felt like a movie.”

— Linda Tsai (12)

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About the Contributor
Lancy Shi
Lancy Shi, Editor
Lancy Shi is a senior at YLHS, and this is her third year in The Wrangler newspaper. She works as an editor and cartoonist in the program, balancing writing and illustrating. In her free time, she likes to doodle, listen to music, and walk around to let her ideas flow. In the future, one of her biggest dreams is to publish her novel. She hopes to work in creative fields to spread individuality. Lancy is excited to make the most of her final year in the newspaper.

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