Lady Bird Review~Spoilers!

There are spoilers…so if you haven’t seen Lady Bird, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For a date night this weekend, we saw the movie, Lady Bird , and although I hate to sound like every other review, it really was as good as they say.

AND…if you are of a certain vintage or you have seen Pretty in Pink  you may agree with my assessment that Lady Bird is a beautiful rebirth of this classic.

For the purpose of this review, I am assuming you have seen the 1986, John Hughes classic about Andy (Molly Ringwald), who is a beautifully unique girl facing her final year of high school and the need, or want to fit in.

I came away with some similarities between the two story lines.  I am NOT saying there is any plagiarism here, nor am I dismissing the talented Greta Gerwig’s writing or her directorial debut. If anything, Gerwig has made her Pretty in Pink more complex and dives deeper into the intertwining relationships we have throughout our lives.

So I hope you enjoy these few examples of each film that compliment each other allowing us to enjoy both equally.

  1. Mother figure. Although Andy’s character doesn’t have a mother figure present, we get glimpses of the challenging relationship she has with a woman who chose to leave her and Andy’s father.  We see Andy in many situations where her mother would have been the person she would be turning to for guidance, and she is literally unavailable to do so.   In Lady Bird, Christine (Lady Bird) and her mother have a troubled relationship, which is the main focus of the story.  Her mother is emotionally unavailable for her and there would be scenes throughout the movie where Lady Bird would turn to her and she would show no support.  Both characters have a deep love for their mothers but also need to grow to understand why they are the way they are.
  2. Father Figure. Andy, in Pretty in Pink, has a wonderful relationship with her father.  She has become more of a parent to him when his wife leaves and Andy is left to help pull him out of a deep depression.  He is her emotional support even though he is an emotional wreck himself.  He is lacking in drive for himself to be able fulfill his dreams but believes wholeheartedly in his daughter and he is  her biggest cheerleader.  Lady Bird’s dad is similar.  His career did not go the way he had hoped over the years and subsequently loses his job late in his working life.  He is left depressed and feeling hopeless while his wife works double shifts to keep their modest home running.  He is the heart of the home, like Andy’s dad, and Lady Bird knows that he is her ally.  He believes in her and understands her need to explore the world, perhaps fulfilling his need to explore that never was realized.
  3. The best friend.  Both movies have the unwavering best friend, who by association doesn’t make them cool in the eyes of the cool people at school.  Duckie, Andy’s best friend is a unique individual who can’t help but be himself, which is completely different from most at school.  Andy and Duckie make fun of the ‘preppy’ kids who have money and are more popular but would love to be in their shoes for just one day.   Lady Bird’s best friend is Julie.  Julie, like Duckie, also is unapologetically herself.  Her and Lady Bird dream of the living in the ‘rich’ area of their home town.  Julie has been there for Lady Bird and likewise, through their childhood and now, as they enter adulthood.  They know things will change after they graduate but their bond will not be severed because of what the future may hold.  Together they have made their way through a difficult childhood and a not so popular time in high school.
  4. The ‘cool’ guy aka ‘the wedge’.  The bonds between Andy and Duckie are tested as is the relationship between Lady Bird and Julie when the cool, popular guy shows some attention.  Andy struggles between her loyalty to Duckie and her feelings for Blaine, the preppy, rich guy that finds her intriguing.  She finds herself having to chose and also feels that she is never going to be good enough for Blaine because of where she lives.  She is embarrassed by where she lives and the state of her home, much like Lady Bird, who lies to Kyle, one of the cool, rich guys, that she ends up crushing on.  She lies to the rich, cool group just for fear that they will not like her if they knew where she lived.   For both Lady Bird and Andy, their best friends are left out in the cold for the brief moment of being one of the popular kids.  Duckie and Julie are forced to watch their best friends from the side lines as they forge new friendships with people they never liked before.  Ultimately, they are both let down by the guys they fall for when the differences in their social status are bigger than they can deal with.  Andy, however, will find that Blaine may just be one of the good guys when he redeems himself at the end (an ending I was truly never happy with).
  5. The Dress.  Prom night means getting a great dress.  For Andy, it means creating something from bought second-hand, as she had done for most of her wardrobe.  She creates an original dress that, of course, is pink.  Her father is in awe of her talent and beauty the night of prom.  Even though her relationship with Blaine seems to have imploded at that point and her friendship with Duckie seems to be in disrepair, she goes alone to the prom.  Duckie, the loyal friend, is there to walk her into the prom as they had walked through their childhoods together.  Lady Bird also has prom to deal with. She and her mother buy a second had dress that her mother alters to be more ‘prom like’. Lady Bird’s family is stunned by how beautiful she looks, even her mother and normally ambivalent brother. Lady Bird gets picked up by Kyle even though at that point they would have broken up when she finds out just what he was really like.  Kyle and his friends decide they are too cool to go to prom so she asks to be dropped off at Julie’s house.  She finds Julie at home alone the night of the prom and their relationship rekindles when Lady Bird helps her get ready.  They walk into prom and at each other’s sides, just as they had been throughout their lives so far.

So, I leave you with this….watch both….notice the similarities…notice the differences…and you will love both.  Yes, one is 30 years old now, and sure, some things are dated, but Pretty in Pink lead the way for movies of its kind.  Lady Bird has taken the reigns and amplified it up to 11. (again, you will get this if you are a certain vintage).  Thank you Greta Gerwig for giving us a beautifully done movie that has reminded me of another film that I hold close to my heart.

Here is the trailer for Lady Bird, in case you haven’t seen it. (Although you shouldn’t have read this if you haven’t)



A Fond Farewell~Westdale Theatre

“Of all the arts, movies are the most powerful aid to empathy, and good ones make us into better people.”
― Roger Ebert

Last night we said good bye to a dear old friend.  Well, actually a few old friends, but one old girl in particular that we will hold close to our heart for all time.

We said good bye to Westdale Theatre as we know and love it. She was purchased recently by the Westdale Cinema Group, whose hope it is to give her a face lift and breathe new life into her bones.

The day the theatre was listed for sale, after operating since 1935, our city was at risk of losing its last operating movie theatre of its kind.  One by one, over the years, the theatres of our youth, and my parents’ youth have closed and turned into other businesses or torn down completely.  The chance that this gem would turn into a restaurant or retail outlet or worse, bull-dozed, was enough to make us feel sick at the very thought.

As thankful as we are for the new life she will see, and the fact that she will still be showing some great independent films in her next life, we are faced with saying good bye to her past in order to say hello to her future.

This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

The Westdale Theatre is in walking distance of our home.  We have enjoyed movies there for about 20 years; ever since we moved into the area.  Showing mostly independent films, we were exposed to so many that we would not have known about if it hadn’t been for the theatre screening them.  Checking to see the latest screen offerings for the week is  a ritual that will be missed.  Sometimes, well, most times, we didn’t even know what the movie was about, we would just pick a night and go see it.  More often than not, we would walk home from the theatre flooded with a gamete of emotions.  The films we viewed there moved us, elated us, saddened us, and got us talking.

I like to think that the impact these movies had on us, wasn’t just from the films themselves, but because of where we were when we saw them.

We saw two movies this last week.  Maudie, with Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, which was a sweet, heartwarming movie about Maude Lewis, the folk artist from Nova Scotia, and Le Havre, a French film from 2011, for the final film of the Westdale Theatre’s life this time around.  At first I wondered why Le Havre was picked as their final film, and for whatever the real reason is, I like to think it encompassed all of what we loved about the Westdale Theatre.  It was quirky, weird, independent and made you smile.  Exactly how you would describe the old girl.

So they say change is inevitable.  They also say change is good. I am hopeful the new keepers of this somewhat sacred place will not venture too far from her purpose as a place to screen movies to those who love independent film.

To the Theatre, you are forever etched into our memories as one of our most cherished places in Hamilton.  Thank you for showing us life in so many different genres.

I would be horribly remiss if I didn’t say how incredibly thankful we are for the staff that kept the old girl going all these years.  We will truly miss you all and wish all staff, past and present, a wonderful future.

I’ve shared a few pics from our last emotion filled evening at the Westdale Theatre.

November Preview!

Helloo November!

Well, not yet but next Tuesday we will be saying that.  That means Halloween is soon here!

What are your plans?  Our kids are past the trick or treating ages and are off to some Halloween parties I am sure.  We usually put out our pumpkin and hand out goodies for the little ones that are in the neighbourhood.  The children’s hospital down the street usually sends people trick or treating for the kids that are spending Halloween in the hospital so we try to make sure we are around for them too.

This will be our dog, Topanga and our cat, Bates’ first Halloween with us.  We will see how that goes!  They tend to get a little excited when visitors come over.  🙂

Val and I will be getting back to baking for the month of November!  Yey!!!

We are bringing you cookie month.  Which means…two cookie recipes per week!

We will visit our old favourites like chocolate chip and peanut butter but give you some new recipes to try out as well, like sweet potato or a granola cookie.

November is taking me back to teaching some Yoga classes as well. Well, actually already started, and it feels great to get back into the studio.  I have seen some new faces and some familiar ones.  This November I will highlight some poses that you may have done and break them down, giving you the basics of the pose as well as the benefits to them.

This November I will continue my approach to more minimalism.  I have tackled the kitchen cupboards, living room, and attic. The next task in moving to less stuff is the bedroom.  Although I have done my closet, there is just the weirdest stuff in this room that has been shoved into drawers never to be used again.

November may mean less time outside, but I plan to make the most out of the time spent inside.  The unfinished projects, like painting the kitchen and hallway are on the list, as well as writing more.  Aside from the blog, I want to get into more of a habit with my writing.  The more you do, the better you get, which means hopefully you’ll enjoy more of what we are posting!

Finally, you have to all admit that the colder weather may find you sitting in front of the television a little more than in the summer.  I think it is safe to say there will be some Netflix in our near future. Val and I will be sharing our viewing pleasures with you and hope you can suggest a few of your favourites for us to watch as well.

Instead of dreading the upcoming winter months, let’s celebrate November! For our friends south of the border, this is going to be a big November 😉 And they get to celebrate Thanksgiving too.  So stay tuned in for our newest posts and if you haven’t followed us yet, what are you waiting for?!  Click that follow button to get the latest blog posts to your email or WordPress reader.

See you guys soon!