Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, and starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith. Set in Sacramento, California, it is a coming-of-age story about a high-school senior (Ronan) and her turbulent relationship with her mother (Metcalf).
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is a senior student at a Catholic high school in Sacramento, in 2002. She has a strained relationship with her parents, and is best friends with Julianne “Julie” Steffans. Christine and Julie join their school’s theatre program, where Christine meets a young man named Danny O’Neill. They develop a romantic relationship, leading to Christine joining Danny’s family for Thanksgiving dinner rather than doing so with her own family. Their relationship is abruptly broken when Christine finds Danny making out with a boy in a bathroom stall. At the behest of her mother, Christine takes on a menial job at a coffee shop, where she meets an edgy musician named Kyle Scheible. He and Christine begin a romantic relationship, and she begins to drift away from Julie in favor of a friendship with a popular girl named Jenna Walton.
After Jenna is reprimanded by nun teacher Sister Sarah Joan for wearing a short skirt, Jenna bonds with Christine by harmlessly vandalizing Joan’s car. Christine tells Jenna that she lives at an address which, in actuality, belongs to Danny’s grandmother. Christine drops out of the theatre program, and is later confronted by Danny outside of the coffee shop, where she consoles him after he expresses his struggle to come out. She loses her virginity to Kyle after he falsely refers to himself as a virgin, leading her to find consolation in her mother. Jenna discovers that Christine lied about her address, which essentially ends their friendship. Christine is told that her father has recently lost his job, and discovers that he is battling depression.
Christine begins applying to colleges, hoping to be accepted into one that is out-of-state. She receives several rejection letters, but is elated to discover that she has been placed on the wait list for a university in New York. Despite her uneasy relationship with them, she sets out for her high school’s prom alongside Kyle, Jenna, and Jenna’s boyfriend, but they decide to drive elsewhere. Christine asks them to drop her off at Julie’s apartment, where the two rekindle their friendship and go to the prom together. Christine passes her driving test and repaints her bedroom, removing drawings, photos, and writing from her walls. Her mother discovers that she has applied to out-of-state universities behind her back, causing her mother to give her the silent treatment.
In 2003, on her eighteenth birthday, Christine’s father shares a cupcake with her and jokes that he and her mother cannot afford a divorce. Now of legal age, Christine buys a pack of cigarettes, a scratch-off ticket, and an issue of Playgirl from a convenience store. Christine eventually leaves for New York; her mother coldly drives her to the airport, where Christine heads to the terminal with her father. While driving away, her mother has a change of heart and circles back to say goodbye, but Christine has already departed. In New York, Christine finds thoughtful letters written by her mother and salvaged by her father. Christine is briefly hospitalized after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol at a party. After leaving the hospital, she observes a Sunday church service. Outside the church, she calls home with her cell phone and leaves an apologetic message for her mother.
In its limited opening weekend, the film grossed $364,437 from four theaters, for a per-theater average of $91,109. It had the second best theater average of 2017 and the highest-ever for a film in limited release directed by a woman. The film expanded to 37 theaters in its second weekend, and grossed a three-day total of $1.2 million, finishing 10th at the box office. In its third weekend, the film expanded to 238 theaters, and grossed a three-day total of $2.5 million, finishing 8th at the box office.
The film had its official wide release on November 24, playing in 724 theaters and making $4 million over the weekend ($5.4 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame), finishing 11th. Expanding to 1,194 theaters the following week the film grossed $4.3 million, returning to 8th place.
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