COLUMN: “Lady Bird” could have been better


Ian Stoubaugh

Ian Stobaugh, Columnist

I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews for “Lady Bird” since its release in 2017. I was interested in the movie because of these reviews, and decided to watch it over spring break.

Before I watch any movie or show, I try to find a synopsis on it so I know what to expect before watching. However, I couldn’t find anything about the plot of the movie. The only things I could find were practically the same as the blurb that Netflix wrote as the description, which usually only gives the bare-bone concepts of films and TV shows. I decided to watch it anyways because I was intrigued on why the plot was so well hidden.

I found the reason: there’s no plot besides the blurb.

The whole plot is that the main character, Lady Bird, has turmoil with her family and dreams of escaping to the east coast for college. The only big part of the plot not mentioned in that description, is that she makes it to New York for college. There’s barely any plot development other than the fact that she moves away and realizes she actually misses her family.

For an hour and twenty minutes, the plot stays virtually the same. The character development and plot resolution happens within the last 11 minutes of the movie.

While some may argue that her attitude changes as the movie goes on, I don’t think this is the case. I think that instead of Lady Bird herself changing, the audience just begins to see more into Lady Bird’s life. It’s like when you meet someone for the first time, versus when you’ve been friends for a year–they themselves didn’t change, but your perception of them did. That’s what the story seems to work off of rather than actual character development and plot structure.

The story itself had a lot of potential–the setting is fleshed out, and the characters are as well. The premise is also good, and I think it could have been expanded on a lot more.

I think that if the writers had inserted a conflict into the movie instead of relying on the already existing conflict, it would have been a lot more watchable. The only reason I kept watching was to see if something new would happen, but nothing really did. The movie started with the conflict, instead of building up to a separate conflict.

While the movie’s basic story had lots of issues, there are redeeming qualities to the movie. The acting, cinematography, and characters are amazing. I love how the character Lady Bird was written, even if her character didn’t develop until the very end. She’s viewed as mean and harsh by everyone around her, but we see behind the scenes that she isn’t. The way the story doesn’t try to prove Lady Bird as a great character, but shows both the good and bad parts of her life is amazing, and I would love to see more characters like that.

While I wouldn’t watch “Lady Bird” again, I recommend it for people who watch films for reasons other than the plot development. If you like analyzing characters, or looking at amazing cinematography, I recommend it if you’re trying to find a movie to watch.

Ian Stobaugh is a freshman German major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].