Bettie's Box Office:Lady Bird review

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf star in the coming-of-age film, Lady Bird. (Photo:A24)

First of all, this movie has absolutely nothing to do with Lady Bird Johnson.

Instead, Lady Bird is a contemporary coming-of-age film about a girl named Christine (Saoirse Ronan) who has inexplicably given herself the name of Lady Bird. In a way, it reflects her teenage defiance of being defined by anybody or anything, including her critical mother (Laurie Metcalf). The two are constantly at odds: millennial Lady Bird thinks there can’t be anything worse than her lower middle-class Sacramento life, while her worrisome mother doesn’t want to let Lady Bird become her own person.

The plot will be familiar to any parent with a rebellious teen and any teen with controlling parents. Ronan and Metcalf manage to wring out some awkward humor from the tension between them. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the dialogue is smart and engaging and the relationship between mother and daughter feels real and relatable. Aside from those two, the rest of the characters are less developed and come across as fairly stereotypical.

Audiences and critics alike loved Lady Bird when it showed in September at the Austin Film Festival. Sadly, it may get lost in the crunch of holiday movie releases, so keep Lady Bird in mind when you tire of superheroes and giant explosions.

Lady Bird is rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying.

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