loved 'lady bird'? here's what to see, read, and listen to next
i-D's moodboard for any Catholic school girl going through the growing pains of adolescence in a small town and looking for the perfect soundtrack to lose their virginity to.
Though Greta Gerwig has starred in a number of beloved indie films, Lady Bird marks the actress' directorial debut. And with it, she managed to pull off an almost impossible feat: instantly cementing her film within the pantheon of gritty, yet heartwarming, teen rom-com classics and positioning herself as a kind of John Hughes in the making. The difference, however, between Gerwig and the director of the most beloved coming-of-age films of the 80s, is that she manages to take the tropes of the genre and make them both profoundly true and resonant with the female adolescent experience, while also handling them with an ironic, slightly subversive wink. And clearly, with a nearly perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has managed to resonate far beyond just the high school set. So if you left the theater after seeing Lady Bird immediately wanting more, you're not alone. Which is why we curated this list featuring everything you need to see, read, and listen to next in order to keep that ball of raging pubescent hormones rolling.
Music: Riot Grrrl meets Dave Mathews Band
This playlist is a healthy mix of early aughts pop anthems, seminal riot grrrl ragers, and melancholy, nostalgic odes to the state Lady Bird calls home. In other words, it has everything you need whether you're just driving around screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs with your BFF or throwing a massive party while your parents are out of town.
Movies: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is another coming-of-age film told from the point of view of a teen who feels like an outsider (don't they all) and returns to high school after being discharged from a mental health care institution for depression. As with Lady Bird, the film seamlessly vacillates between carefree, intimate scenes between friends and the heavier fare of suicide and homophobia, balancing both to create a nuanced and realistic depiction of young adulthood.
Stepmom was the movie that inspired an entire generation to ask, "What in the hell does snow blowing mean?" But aside from confusing teens everywhere by introducing an entirely new, fictional sex act, the film also deftly navigated the realities and growing pains of divorce, devastating illness, and blended family life. While it's billed as a comedy, the film deals with the heavy reality of a terminally ill mother who must come to terms with the fact that her ex-husband's new lover will be raising her children after she's gone. The results will make you laugh, cry, and wonder why this film isn't mandatory viewing for every adolescent.
Pretty in Pink
No list of Lady Bird-esque recommendations would truly be complete without Pretty in Pink considering Greta Gerwig has said the 80s classic was one of the many inspirations she drew from in making this film. In an interview with Slate, Gerwig explains that growing up she didn't feel like there were films that showed "young women occupying personhood," but adds, "I loved John Hughes movies. I mean, I loved Pretty in Pink." She explains that Lady Bird's prom hair and dress were partially an homage to that film, saying, "Something Saoirse [Ronan] and I had talked about a lot was this idea of, 'What is the movie playing in her head, which is not the movie that she's in?' She would think that she is in a movie where she is going to find 'the one.'”
TV Show: Gilmore Girls
The mother-daughter duo's breakneck dialogue and encyclopedic pop culture references in Gilmore Girls will surely call to mind Lady Bird's own whip-smart one-liners and wise beyond her years demeanor. And while Rory and Lorelei's relationship is much closer than Lady's with her own mother, if you stick around for the later seasons you'll see that no familial tie is immune to some serious growing pains.
My So-Called Life
Nobody captured the pure 90s angst of feeling like a teenage outcast quite like Clare Danes as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life. Not only did the show deal with your standard high school cliches of dating, popularity, and bullying, but it didn't shy away from darker subject matter either, from finding out her crush Jordan Catalano is nearly illiterate to her best friend Rickie coming out as gay and subsequently being kicked out of his home.
Freaks & Geeks
Much like Lady Bird, this series manages to perfectly merge serious and moving plot lines with pure comedy and that near impossible to capture feeling of the endless possibilities of pre-adulthood. It's also told from the point of view of Lindsay, a good girl turned rebel, who must ultimately decide between following her parents' wishes and heading off to an academic summit in Ann Arbor or following her heart and becoming a groupie for the Grateful Dead. Not so unlike another disaffected young lady we know.
Book: The Virgin Suicides
Ok, so granted The Virgin Suicides is much, much darker than anything that transpires in Lady Bird. But maybe if she had read about some of the twisted dilemmas the Lisbon sisters faced, it would have thrown Lady's own classic teen issues of losing her virginity to a jerk and going against her parents' collegiate wishes into sharp relief.
Again, substantially heavier stuff here, but at the heart of this novel is a story about the deeply fraught relationship between a mother and daughter. Sure, the mother in this book is a manipulative murderer attempting to control her daughter from within the confines of prison, but the underlying themes of family, growing up, and young love ring true nonetheless.
Fashion moment: Miu Miu
Prada's little sister brand hits all the right notes for a Catholic girl with nonconformist tastes. While the line always include plenty of sickly sweet school girl references, including an abundance of glitter, mini skirts, neon pink, and cutesy bows, that's all really just a mask for the artsy, dark, avant-garde undercurrent that can be palpably felt throughout the brand's collections. Even at their most girly, Miu Miu's pieces practically scream, "Underestimate me, I dare you."