May 21st, 2018
From the Marymount High School Archives

    Over spring break, I decided to visit the underrated gem that is Sacramento, California. Yes, you read that right. Instead of going somewhere exotic like Bora Bora or France, I chose to go to a place that some have referred to as the “Midwest of California." Normally I would have driven by the city with nothing more than a passing glance, but everything changed after I saw a film that made my imagination take flight.

    Lady Bird isn't your typical coming-of-age film. It centers around high school senior Christine McPherson, a girl with a personality as vibrant as her bright crimson hair. Christine, or as she prefers to be called, 'Lady Bird,' feels stuck in what she considers to be a drab existence in a tired old town. Think: thrift stores, old houses, and hand-me-downs. Essentially, she is living - quite literally - on the wrong side of the tracks. However, what her soul truly longs for is the antithesis of her current life: the East Coast college experience, the big blue house, and the fancy friends. Lady Bird undergoes several rites of passage over the course of her last year of high school. She falls in love for the first time, leaves her best friend for a more popular "queen-bee," argues constantly with her headstrong mother, and giddily attends her senior prom. You may think these are clichéd elements of another Hollywood B movie, but what Greta Gerwig the brilliant director of Lady Bird – has created, is like nothing you've ever seen before.

    I wish I could convey the true magic of this film in a brief article. It would be extraordinarily easy to quote all of the quips, talk about the superb soundtrack, and rave about the raw talent that actors like Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet possess. However, these gifts can only be imparted from an uninterrupted screening of the movie.

    Without revealing any spoilers, there is a scene at the end of the film - after Lady Bird has graduated from high school - where the reality of her situation seems to come crashing down on her. As a newly minted college student, she has chosen to shed her 'Lady Bird' persona and introduce herself to others as 'Christine.' Whatever her name may be, she begins to reflect upon her high school career and become aware of the fact that all of the little things - her first kiss, singing her lungs out in the school musical, crying with her best friend after experiencing a breakup, going to Thrift Town with her mom, taking goofy prom photos, and spending time in her room were actually big things.

    Lady Bird is a truly phenomenal film in its seemingly ordinary simplicity: it makes the viewer reflect upon their roots and see the beauty in everyday life. As a high school student, I deeply connected with Lady Bird because I could see myself in her. There is a particular scene where, after spending years in her colorful childhood room, she paints the walls white as she prepares to leave for college. This hit me hard, and made me realize that something as simple as my room - something that I see every day - won't be around forever. Just like my trip to Sacramento, I could have simply passed by it without a second thought, but I would have missed all of the beauty lurking just beneath the surface.

    As I enter the second half of my high school journey, I will remember to look for the magic in all of the little moments - attending assemblies, having lunch with my friends, playing in the orchestra, and taking tests – before, like Lady Bird, it's time to fly away to college. Whether you're just getting to know Marymount as a freshman or are enjoying your final days on campus as a senior, I hope that you, too, are able to find beauty in the ordinary before you spread your wings.