You don't have to love Lady Bird to still know that it is far from a bad movie. Why else would it have garnered the coveted 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? However, in the words of Taylor Swift, this is why we can't have nice things. The Greta Gerwig-directed hit has officially dropped to 99%, and the reason why is pretty infuriating.
Whenever there's hype around something, there's always someone who wants to rain on the parade, and critic Cole Smithey, who reviews movies on his website, has made a habit of parade-raining since he gave Toy Story 3 its first rotten review in 2010, saying that it didn't hold up to the previous two films, and that it was unnecessarily cruel and violent. In that very review, he chides the groupthink he believes elevates unworthy films and puts them on pedestals, and his Lady Bird review feels like another attempt to puncture societal excitement.
He begins by calling the film "dramatically flat," but the heart of his issues appear to be with the very thing that everyone else is loving: Lady Bird's coming of age. He writes that "even losing her virginity occurs with a whimper" (never mind the fact that the scene was a refreshing representation of first-time sex that we are rarely shown on screen) and goes on to say that Gerwig still has a long way to go before she's as good as "Mike Leigh or a Louis Malle," who just happen to both be dudes.
It's definitely okay to dislike something despite the hype, but forgive me for rolling my eyes when it's a man scoffing at a movie about a girl coming of age. Attempts to pick apart the Lady Bird hive mind instead come across as attempts to delegitimise the telling of a female experience, something that these last few months should tell you is sorely missing in Hollywood. Gleefully rushing to tear apart a popular, women-lead story simply because you're bothered by pop culture groupthink isn't a good look. Maybe, just maybe, not every story is meant for you.