In Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut and indie hit Lady Bird, the soundtrack plays a big role in showing protagonist Lady Bird’s turbulent adolescent years. The film is set in 2002, and Gerwig wanted it to feel as authentic as possible with a soundtrack that transports viewers to the era of one of the saddest celebrity breakups of all time: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
During last night’s (Nov. 20) episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Gerwig discussed the film and told the story of the importance of getting the iconic breakup song “Cry Me a River” in the film. To get permission to use the song, she penned a detailed letter revealing her inner fangirl, saying how much the prince of pop meant to her during her own awkward teen years. “I remember being in the cafeteria at lunch and someone played it for me on their Discern and I wanted to hear it again, right away, and as loud as possible. Immediately after school I went to the Tower Records and bought both the CD and cassette tape because my car didn’t have a CD player,” she wrote.
Gerwig reached out to Alanis Morissette in a similar manner, whose music plays a somewhat large role in the film, with Lady Bird even telling her father how much she loves the singer. “I saw the film DOGMA because I read that you played God, which seemed totally fitting to me,” Gerwig confesses. She also asked Dave Matthews if she could use “Crash Into Me,” a song that Lady Bird listens to while recovering from heartbreak and when she stands up to a disrespectful love interest who pokes fun at her for loving it. Those letters are shorter but just as heartwarming.
Read her full letters below.
— Jackson McHenry (@McHenryJD) November 21, 2017
— Kevin O’Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) November 21, 2017
Okay but Greta Gerwig’s letter to Dave Matthews made me verklempt. His music has been my *life* for the past 20 years and it’s a badge I wear with unabashed pride, even though it’s no longer cool. She gets it. Few people do. https://t.co/y9DMbKdEn3 pic.twitter.com/cXS4oMtTUZ
— —-Aly Semigran—- (@AlySemigran) November 21, 2017