This is one of those extremely rare occasions where I actually understand why this movie was nominated for so many awards, but in the same breath, I will not be watching this movie ever again. Let me unpack this movie for those of you that maybe don’t want to relive your disrespectful and rebellious high school life.
In this movie, Saoirse Ronan, plays a senior in high school who is trying to be independent whilst crushing on boys, fighting with her mom, and trying to make new friends while also attempting to have a “solid high school experience” aka smoking and parties and sex.
My biggest pet peeve with this film is the fact that Saoirse’s character is actually quite lovable and quirky and sweet, but she does and says the dumbest things to make you hate her. I would like to mention that being 10+ years out of high school might have effected how I watched this film and that MAYBE I found her attitude a bit more vexing than if I had watched this as a 17 year old. However, I was equally frustrated with the mother and her attitude that quite frankly I think my age range is actually doing me a disservice! I can’t relate to the high schooler because I see her being an idiot but the mom is also giving me anxiety because she’s ridiculously overbearing and irrational. It’s a lose lose for anyone 25-35 years old watching this film.
My analogy: Watching this film after high school and before parenthood is like needing to get your car serviced – if you go somewhere cheap you’ll doubt the quality of service, but if you bring it to the manufacturer, you know you’re getting ripped off. Basically, you can’t enjoy getting your car fixed because whichever side you pick, you lose! You can’t be #teamsaoirse or #teammom because they will both annoy the crap out of you.
Finally, I’d like to provide you a list of why I liked this movie (I know, it’s rare to get a positive list so enjoy it while it lasts):
1) The high school boys were basically as accurate as they can get – great job on the casting.
2) Teenage girls and moms really have the most up and down emotional rollercoaster in the world. But I truly believe that as long as you don’t stop talking to each other, all can be fixed.
3) Dads of teenage girls deserve a reward. Like a giant financial reward every year between ages 13-19.
4) Changing your name in high school is becoming popular – I’m not necessarily encouraging it, but it’s a real thing kids do so I’m glad a movie exposed that fad
5) Saoirse Ronan has an incredibly thick Irish accent IRL and I was super impressed with her pseudo- American accent. Kudos, Saoirse!
Popcorn Rating: 4 popped corns (with a burnt kernel for the frustration)
I’m gonna be real with you – this movie is tough to watch. It’s literally 2 hours of pure teenage angst and parental frustration and it doesn’t necessarily have any high or upbeat points. However, if you are a teen and/or a mom and think that you’re alone in feeling misunderstood or crazy frustrated with your kid – this movie will make you feel better. Like watching “Survivor” when you’re on a diet.