12 Movies Like Lady Bird You Should Not Miss

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movies like lady bird

Since its release, “Lady Bird” is beloved for its heartfelt exploration of adolescence, nuanced portrayal of mother-daughter relationships, and authentic depiction of growing up. If you are a fan of it, you’ll be thrilled to discover a selection of films that capture similar themes and emotions. From touching coming-of-age stories to films that delve deep into family dynamics and self-discovery, these 12 movies like Lady Bird will resonate with you in much the same way. Join us as we explore these cinematic gems in the following list!

12 Movies Like Lady Bird You Should Not Miss

  1. Saved!
  2. Flower
  3. Eighth Grade
  4. 20th Century Women
  5. Little Miss Sunshine
  6. The Edge of Seventeen
  7. Welcome to the Dollhouse
  8. Mistress America
  9. Yes, God, Yes
  10. Frances Ha
  11. Submarine
  12. Palo Alto

Saved! (2004) – Streaming on Hoopla, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock

Movies Like Lady Bird: Saved! IMDb Rating 6.7 English 1h 32m

movies like lady bird-saved!-2004

Director: Brian Dannelly

Starring: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin

What it’s about: Mary is a good girl who believes in Catholicism, and the almighty God is her only idol. Her best friend, Hilary Faye, is an oppressive girl. They have a close personal relationship and happily start their last year at American Eagle Catholic College. But one day, Mary’s boyfriend suddenly confessed that he might like a man. Just when Mary was distressed, God appeared in her hallucination and hoped that she would “do everything to redeem her boyfriend.” What’s more, Mary discovered that she was pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s child. She has no time to think about others right now. The most essential thing is to find solutions to her difficulties.

Why it’s similar: The two coming-of-age films explore the journey of young female protagonists grappling with adolescence, identity, and self-discovery during high school. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson dreams of escaping her mundane life in Sacramento for college on the East Coast, while Mary Cummings deals with an unplanned pregnancy in a staunchly religious environment. Both films intricately portray each girl’s complicated relationship with her mother, characterized by love, tension, and misunderstanding. In addition, they also examine the influence of faith and belief systems, with “Lady Bird” set in a Catholic high school and “Saved!” set in an evangelical Christian high school, providing a critique of religious expectations and societal norms. With their blend of humor and drama, these films address broader societal issues, making their narratives relatable and thought-provoking for a wide audience.

Review: “Saved!” was hailed for its fearless approach to tackling adolescence and religious identity themes. The film’s sharp wit and nuanced character development captivated audiences, sparking conversations about faith and acceptance. Industry insiders praised its bold storytelling and standout performances, recognizing it as a standout in the teen comedy genre.

Flower (2017) – Streaming on Fubo TV, Hoopla, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Flower IMDb Rating 6.0 English 1h 30m

movies like lady bird-flower-2017

Director: Max Winkler

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker

What it’s about: Erica and her friend often play the vigilantes to tease corrupt police officers and trap pedophiles. Erica’s stepfather has a son named Luke, who lives with them after he got out of rehab. They quickly develop an unexpected friendship when Erica stops Luke from committing suicide one night. This time, Erica and her friends decide to target Will next, and Luke reluctantly agrees to join in. They spike Will’s drink with LSD to get him to confess his crimes. But the LSD is so strong that Will died. Luke convinces Erica to flee to Mexico. The two turn themselves in when they decide they can no longer be on the run. Erica informs Luke that until they surrender themselves, they cannot be apprehended. During the chase, Luke confesses his love for Erica. A month later, Erica visits Luke in jail shortly before he is placed on house arrest.

Why it’s similar: “Lady Bird” and “Flower” center around teenage girls on the brink of adulthood, struggling to assert their identities and navigate complex relationships. Each film explores strained mother-daughter dynamics, with “Lady Bird” delving into the volatile yet loving bond between Lady Bird and her mother and “Flower,” depicting Erica’s contentious relationship with her mom. Moreover, humor plays a key role in both films, with “Lady Bird” employing wit to tackle the awkwardness of adolescence and “Flower” using dark comedy to address heavier themes like trauma and revenge. In addition, friendships and romantic relationships are crucial in shaping their journeys, showcasing how these bonds influence their paths to self-discovery. Despite their differences in tone, both films effectively capture the essence of teenage turmoil, making them relatable and engaging for audiences.

Review: “Flower” captivated audiences with its raw portrayal of teenage rebellion and resilience. The edgy storyline and bold characters drew viewers into a world where nothing is off-limits, sparking laughter and introspection. Industry insiders praised its daring narrative and authentic depiction of adolescence, recognizing it as a standout in the coming-of-age genre. With its striking visuals and standout performances, “Flower” left a lasting impression on audiences.

Eighth Grade (2018) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Eighth Grade IMDb Rating 7.4 English 1h 33m

movies like eight grade

Director: Bo Burnham

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson

What it’s about: 13-year-old Kayla is an anxious girl living out her last days of eighth grade. She uses YouTube to express herself, writing advice blogs and pretending that everything is fine. Although Kayla was moody and taciturn around her single father and classmates, she spent much time chatting with them on Instagram and Twitter. Like an encouraging online journal, her YouTube videos are a creative tool that reveals glimpses into her inner aspirations and aims. Despite social isolation and fears about high school, the shy eighth-grader tried to be optimistic during his last week of junior high.

Why it’s similar: Similar to “Lady Bird,” “Eighth Grade” follows the girls in high school who navigate the emotional trials of adolescence and the complex relationships these girls have with their parents. Lady Bird’s turbulent yet loving bond with her mother and Kayla’s supportive but sometimes awkward connection with her single father reflect the misunderstandings and deep affection common in parent-child dynamics. Both films were written and directed with a profound understanding of teenage life: Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical “Lady Bird” and Bo Burnham’s deeply empathetic “Eighth Grade.” They capture the social challenges, insecurities, and quests for identity that many teenagers face, all set within the familiar backdrop of school life.

Review: “Eighth Grade” offers a poignant and honest teenage experience in the digital age. Through its intimate storytelling and relatable characters, the film captured the challenges and triumphs of adolescence with nuance and authenticity. Industry critics hailed its realistic depiction of social anxiety and self-discovery, praising its genuine portrayal of modern youth. With its heartfelt performances and insightful commentary, “Eighth Grade” earns widespread acclaim as a modern classic.

20th Century Women (2016) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: 20th Century Women IMDb Rating 7.3 English 1h 59m

movies like lady bird-20th century women-2016

Director: Mike Mills

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig

What it’s about: Long divorced, 55-year-old Dorothea Fields is an independent, open-minded draftsman. Without a stable man, she is focused on raising her 15-year-old son, Jamie Fields. Dorothea wants to give Jamie as much freedom and responsibility as possible to make the right decisions at critical moments and dare to learn from his mistakes and achieve success. Jamie is transitioning to adulthood, and Dorothea worries that without a male influence, Jamie will not become a perfect and responsible adult. Dorothea seeks help from the two other women in their lives to help her guide Jamie through this transition.

Why it’s similar: In “Lady Bird,” we follow Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson as she struggles with her strong-willed mother while seeking her identity. Similarly, “20th Century Women” centers on Jamie Fields, a teenage boy whose single mother, Dorothea, enlists the help of two other women to help guide him into adulthood. Both films emphasize female empowerment and showcase strong secondary characters contributing to the protagonists’ growth. Ultimately, “Lady Bird” and “20th Century Women” offer reflective and emotionally satisfying endings, underscoring the continuous influence of family and mentors in shaping one’s path.

Review: Set against the backdrop of 1970s California, the film poignantly explores family, feminism, and the passage of time. Its nuanced portrayal of motherhood and womanhood captivated audiences, while industry insiders lauded its stellar ensemble cast and authentic period details. With its blend of humor, drama, and nostalgia, “20th Century Women” transports viewers to a bygone era.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Little Miss Sunshine IMDb Rating 7.8 English 1h 41m

movies like lady bird-little miss sunshine-2006

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear

What it’s about: Seven-year-old Olive dreams she will be elected Miss America one day. Her father is a lecturer who sells success books and his “Nine Steps to Success” everywhere; her brother swears that he has not spoken to his family for nine months to get into the flight academy; her grandfather is an old rogue who was kicked out of the nursing home and is full of foul language; her mother is the only average person in this crazy family. Olive competes in the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant with the backing of her family, and the family sets out on a trip to chase their aspirations together.

Why it’s similar: The two films lead the audience to embark on different coming-of-age journeys—The heart of both movies lies in their exploration of complex family dynamics, showcasing dysfunctional but ultimately loving interactions. In “Lady Bird,” the emotional tug-of-war between Lady Bird and her mother reveals their struggles and bond, whereas in “Little Miss Sunshine,” the family’s road trip to support Olive brings out individual challenges and collective strength. With strong female leads and ensemble casts acclaimed for their heartfelt storytelling and character richness, these films have earned critical recognition and numerous awards, making them relatable and engaging explorations of personal growth, familial bonds, and the pursuit of dreams.

Review: “Little Miss Sunshine” charmed audiences with its humor and heartwarming story of family dysfunction. The film’s endearing characters and quirky road trip premise struck a chord with viewers of all ages, earning it a dedicated fan following. Industry critics recognize it as a standout in the indie comedy genre. With its blend of humor, heart, and relatable family dynamics, “Little Miss Sunshine” became a beloved favorite and a timeless classic for generations to come.

The Edge of Seventeen (2016) – Streaming on Netflix, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: The Edge of Seventeen IMDb Rating 7.3 English 1h 44m

movies like lady bird-the edge of seventeen-2016

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner

What it’s about: Nadine has been a quirky, lonely, and withdrawn girl since she was young, so her classmates often bullied her. Since she met Krista, they have been inseparable, sharing happiness and secrets. Even though they both entered high school, their feelings for each other have never changed. Nadine’s brother, Darian, is handsome, sunny, and cheerful. However, one day, Nadine was shocked to find Krista and Darian lying in the same bed. At the same time, Nadine fell in love with a boy named Nick, but she could not fit into his social circle.

Why it’s similar: “Lady Bird” and “The Edge of Seventeen” highlight the importance of best friends, with both Lady Bird and Nadine experiencing strains in these pivotal relationships. Romantic misadventures are another common thread as protagonists navigate their feelings and expectations around romantic interests. Both films blend humor with emotional depth, presenting serious themes through relatable and often light-hearted storytelling, making the protagonists’ experiences poignant and entertaining. The realistic dialogue and authentic portrayal of teenage life resonate with viewers. They are set in suburban American high schools, depicting the typical high school experience, including the pressures and dramas inherent to that environment. If you are looking for amazing movies like Lady Bird, this is a classic you should not miss.

Review: “The Edge of Seventeen” offered a refreshing take on the coming-of-age genre, balancing moments of laughter with poignant introspection. Industry insiders praised its authentic storytelling and standout lead performance, recognizing it as a defining film of its generation. With its honest depiction of the challenges of adolescence, “The Edge of Seventeen” left a lasting impression on audiences of all ages.

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Welcome to the Dollhouse IMDb Rating 7.4 English 1h 28m

Director: Todd Solondz

Starring: Heather Matarazzo, Christina Brucato, Victoria Davis

What it’s about: Dawn Wiener is an eleven-year-old girl living in central New Jersey. Life is a mess for her as she is in adolescence. She has an ordinary appearance and was born into an ordinary family. Her parents don’t love her, her brothers and sisters hate her, her classmates laugh at her, and even her first crush in her life was rejected by a boy. Compared with the diverse teenage lives of others, Dawn Wiener’s adolescence is bitter and depressing. No matter how hard she tries to make herself perfect in front of everyone, the final situation often pushes her into another problem. Everyone hopes girls like her will stay away from everyone, and Dawn Wiener also has the idea of running away.

Why it’s similar: When it comes to similarity, these two films struggle with social alienation, trying to fit in at school while pursuing their romantic interests. Dawn faces relentless bullying and neglect, while Lady Bird, though more popular, still deals with the ups and downs of teenage relationships. Familial relationships are a significant focus in both films, with Dawn feeling overlooked by her family, especially in comparison to her younger sister, and Lady Bird experiencing a tumultuous but deeply connected relationship with her overbearing mother. While “Welcome to the Dollhouse” is raw and gritty, and “Lady Bird” is more heartfelt and tender, both films offer unique, meaningful insights into the female adolescent experience.

Review: “Welcome to the Dollhouse” stood out for its darkly comedic exploration of the trials and tribulations of adolescence. The film’s unflinching portrayal of taboo subjects and its bold storytelling captivated audiences, sparking conversations and earning critical acclaim. Industry insiders praised its fearless approach and standout lead performance, recognizing it as a defining film of its era. With its blend of humor and pathos, “Welcome to the Dollhouse” left an indelible mark on the indie film landscape and solidified its status as a cult classic.

Mistress America (2015) – Streaming on Max, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Mistress America IMDb Rating 6.7 English 1h 24m

Director: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Shana Dowdeswell

What it’s about: Tracy, a college student surrounded by emptiness and loneliness, has difficulty adapting to life at Barnard College and dreams of living in New York. At her mother’s suggestion, she contacts Brooke, who will become her half-sister, and her life seems to have taken a turn for the better. Brooke, who loves adventure and has a flamboyant personality, is simply a superstar in Tracy’s eyes. She takes Tracy into her crazy and attractive life. Tracy is about to become the New Yorker of her dreams, but unexpectedly, Brooke has a bigger secret she hasn’t told her.

Why it’s similar: Complex female relationships are pivotal in both films, with “Lady Bird” focusing on the tumultuous yet loving bond between Lady Bird and her mother and “Mistress America” delving into the dynamic between Tracy and her flamboyant soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke. These relationships showcase female bonds’ dual nature as sources of support and conflict, ultimately driving the characters’ growth and self-awareness. Most importantly, the films are character-driven, emphasizing strong, complex female leads who navigate their journeys with a mix of humor and poignant moments. These movies are also influenced by their creators’ personal experiences, adding an authentic touch to their storytelling.

Review: “Mistress America” impressed audiences and critics alike with its sharp wit and incisive social commentary. The film offered a satirical take on modern life, exploring themes of ambition, friendship, and self-discovery with humor and depth. Industry insiders praised its smart writing and standout performances as a standout in the indie comedy genre.

Yes, God, Yes (2019) – Streaming on Hulu, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Yes, God, Yes IMDb Rating 6.1 English 1h 18m

Director: Karen Maine

Starring: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz

What it’s about: Alice is a senior at a strict Midwestern coeducational Catholic high school who has no experience with sex but is curious about it. Father Murphy teaches her in ethics class that any sexual activity in a heterosexual marriage that is not for procreation is a sin and will be punished eternally. She has a hard time accepting her growing sexual desires, as she is shamed by Father Murphy and her best friend, Laura. After an innocent AOL chat turns erotic, she discovers her sexuality and is forced to suppress it for fear of being punished by God. But some things are out of control.

Why it’s similar: Both films highlight the protagonists’ struggles with identity and autonomy, challenging societal and familial expectations while seeking personal authenticity. Both movies evoke nostalgia with cultural references like AOL chat rooms and period-specific music. They also blend humor with deeper, sensitive moments, making the stories relatable and engaging. Central to each narrative are strong female leads who defy norms within their religious and social environments. These films resonate with viewers through their delicate exploration of youth.

Review: “Yes, God, Yes” received acclaim for its refreshing and candid exploration of sexuality and faith. The film’s honest portrayal of adolescent desire and self-discovery resonated with audiences, sparking conversations about religion and morality. It is a bold and thought-provoking film to watch.

Frances Ha (2012) – Streaming on Netflix, MUBI, AMC+, rent or buy on Amazon Video

Movies Like Lady Bird: Frances Ha IMDb Rating 7.4 English 1h 26m

Director: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver

What it’s about: Frances lives in New York City and works as a dance apprentice. Her dearest pal is no longer in contact with her. She feels adrift after being dumped by her best friend. This girl has to be clear about her goals in life. Frances stumbles through her professional and personal life, as her expectations and abilities don’t always match. She clings to her slightly unbalanced visions, not realizing she’ll never be able to achieve them. Frances dives headfirst into her dreams, even when the likelihood of them coming true becomes increasingly slim.

Why it’s similar: The two similar movies share several thematic and stylistic elements that make them relatable and compelling for audiences. They are known for realistic portrayals of life’s struggles, including financial instability and career challenges while maintaining a light, humorous tone. Greta Gerwig’s influence is evident, as she wrote and directed “Lady Bird” and co-wrote and starred in “Frances Ha,” bringing a naturalistic dialogue and heartfelt moments to both films. The settings of Sacramento and New York City are used effectively to mirror the protagonists’ internal journeys, treating these locations almost as characters that shape their experiences.

Review: “Frances Ha” charmed audiences with its quirky humor and heartfelt storytelling, offering a poignant exploration of friendship and identity. The film’s endearing protagonist and whimsical narrative captured the essence of young adulthood, resonating with viewers of all ages. With its blend of humor, heart, and relatable characters, “Frances Ha” left a lasting impression on audiences and solidified its status as a modern classic.

Submarine (2010) – Rent or buy on Amazon Video

Movies Like Lady Bird: Submarine IMDb Rating 7.3 English 1h 37m

Director: Richard Ayoade

Starring: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine

What it’s about: Olive is an unpopular 15-year-old boy with a crush on his classmate, Jordana. Jordana gets Oliver to see her secretly after school and shoots pictures of them kissing since Oliver is flirting with another girl to catch her attention. Jordana makes her ex-boyfriend Mark envy the pictures, and Mark snaps at Oliver. Oliver starts dating Jordana. Believing his mother is having an affair with a neighbor, Oliver tries to fix his parents’ relationship. That’s when he learns that Jordana’s mother has a potentially fatal brain tumor. Distraught, he decides to cut off contact with Jordana and stop her from getting into more trouble. One day, after tracking his mother and neighbor to the beach, he unexpectedly sees Jordana and her new boyfriend. Will the two of them get back together?

Why it’s similar: Romantic relationships play a pivotal role in both narratives, capturing the awkwardness and intensity of first love. Lady Bird’s experiences with her boyfriends, Danny and Kyle, and Oliver’s relationship with Jordana highlight the complications and growth of young love. Both characters are on a quest for identity—Lady Bird dreams of escaping to New York City to reinvent herself, while Oliver’s introspective and quirky behavior manifests his desire to be seen as unique and significant. Stylistically, both films blend humor with poignant moments, employing narration that offers insight into the protagonists’ minds. The clever, sometimes sardonic humor in “Lady Bird” and the deadpan, whimsical tone in “Submarine” provide a bittersweet reflection on teenage life. Additionally, each film features a carefully curated soundtrack that enhances the story’s emotional depth.

Review: “Submarine” captivated audiences with its offbeat charm and coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of Wales. The film’s quirky protagonist and whimsical storytelling resonated with viewers, offering a fresh take on the teenage experience. Industry critics praised its unique visual style and standout performances, recognizing it as a standout in indie comedy. With its blend of humor, heart, and nostalgic charm, “Submarine” left a lasting impression on audiences and earned a place among the beloved coming-of-age classics.

Palo Alto (2013) – Streaming on Peacock, Hoopla, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Lady Bird: Palo Alto IMDb Rating 6.2 English 1h 40m

Director: Gia Coppola

Starring: Emma Roberts, James Franco, Jack Kilmer

What it’s about: In the small town of Palo Alto, California, the girls are looking for love, and the boys are in trouble. Shy, sensitive girl April is the virgin in her class, having an affair with the soccer coach, Mr. B, while having a crush on sweet stoner Teddy, who never reciprocates. Meanwhile, girl Emily offers sex to every boy she meets, including Teddy and his best friend, Fred. Fred is an aggressive, troubled teenager who loves to pick fights, treats girls badly, and seems dangerous. As the high school party arrives, April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual love, while Fred’s escalating reckless behavior leads to chaos.

Why it’s similar: “Lady Bird” and “Palo Alto” use high school as a central backdrop, highlighting peer pressure, relationships, and academic stress. The complex and significant parent-child relationships in both movies add depth to the characters’ experiences, with the protagonists often at odds with their parents while seeking understanding. The films’ protagonists are depicted with realistic flaws, making them relatable and human, and the narratives are punctuated by critical friendships that shape their journeys. These elements create a rich and empathetic portrayal of teenage life, making both films poignant and thought-provoking.

Review: “Palo Alto” impressed audiences with its raw and authentic portrayal of adolescence in the titular California town. The film’s ensemble cast and interconnected storylines offered a glimpse into the lives of teenagers navigating love, loss, and uncertainty. “Palo Alto” struck a chord with audiences as one of the teen movies like Lady Bird.

Conclusion: These 12 films, each with their unique take on the coming-of-age experience and family relationships, are perfect companions to “Lady Bird.” They offer rich, emotional journeys and deeply relatable characters that will stay with you long after the credits roll. Whether you’re looking for a poignant story about growing up, a complex portrayal of familial bonds, or a movie that speaks to life’s highs and lows, these recommendations will surely delight and inspire you. Don’t miss out on these captivating movies that beautifully echo the spirit and soul of “Lady Bird.”

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