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Lady Bird

Lady Bird. Greta Gerwig. 2017. ⚃

Time to see something modern! This one is just… er… three years old? That’s modern enough.

[ten minutes pass]

The opening scene was so brilliant, and I assumed that she was going straight to her senior year at university, but then… she’s… at high school? I’m still not sure.

This is the #1 point of confusion with American movies: The age range of the actors, especially the female actors, is so compressed. It basically starts at 23 (and they play roles down to 12), and ends at 42 (where they play roles as old as 70; mothers to sons played by 44-year-old men). You can never tell by just looking at the actors themselves to figure out what their deal is — you have to carefully piece together clues and then, in the middle of the movie, it’s “OH! SHE WASN”T AUTISTIC SHE WAS JUST PLAYING A 12-YEAR-OLD!”

I guess people who read recaps of movies they’re seeing before seeing them don’t have this problem.

Which reminds me of a review of Barren Corn by Georgette Heyer I read yesterday:

I probably would have liked it a lot more if I had some
idea what the outcome might be before reading it (the copy I got had
no plot description whatsoever).

(The book was really bad, by the way. I absolutely adore Heyer, but I get why she suppressed Barren Corn. I’d be embarrassed to have written that book, too.)

ANYWAY! She’s in high school! So she’s… like… 16? 17? That makes more sense.

*unpausing movie*

[ten minutes pass]

The casting here is just weird! I mean beyond my unhinged rant up there. What are all these sitcom actors doing in here? I mean, I like Laurie Metcalf, but… the other ones?

And the love interest? Why would somebody as good-looking as the protagonist even look at the Danny guy? And why are all the guys wearing clothes that are four sizes too big?

[thirty minutes pass]

Gerwig is doing short-hand for all these things… like the theatre rehearsals… like doing a three second thing and we’re supposed to go “ah, ha, ha, they’re doing that thing”, and I have no idea what they’re doing. Perhaps because I haven’t watched any of the High School Musical movies or hardly any Glee episodes?

But, *phew*, the protagonist is finally attempting to hook up with somebody more appropriate (i.e., Timothee Chalamet), so it’s not as awkward any more. On the other hand, the comedy is getting broader and more… er… stupid… with the gym coach taking over the theatre stuff:

I love silly, but that’s just stupid. I can see how that would totally have worked if the pacing had already been established as being more screwball, but it’s not, so it just seems odd.

[the end]

I really, really like the performances of Beanie Feldstein, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, but some of the others are a bit iffy. There’s some hugely enjoyable scenes in here… and swathes of time that seems to pass by without anything much of interest happening.

But it’s an interesting movie. I hear that Gerwig’s next movie is really good.

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