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Film / The Hairy Bird

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The Hairy Bird (also known as Strike! and All I Wanna Do) is a 1998 teen comedy film written and directed by Sarah Kernochan, with a cast including Gaby Hoffmann, Lynn Redgrave, Kirsten Dunst, Monica Keena, Heather Matarazzo, and Rachael Leigh Cook.

In 1963, Odette Sinclair (Hoffmann) is sent by her parents to Miss Godard's Preparatory School for Girls, an elite New England boarding school run by Miss McVane (Redgrave), after planning to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Dennis.

Odette meets the dynamic young women of the DAR, Daughters of the American Ravioli — Verena (Dunst), Tinka (Keena), Tweety (Matarazzo), and Momo (Merritt Wever) — and they become friends. The girls get together to eat stolen canned food, mock upright hall monitor Abby (Cook), and share their most secret desires — and then pledge to help one another achieve them, no matter what the cost. One night they find out that the school is going co-ed, joining St. Ambrose Academy, due to lack of funding. Once it's proved that the boys can't be trusted, the girls mount an elaborate scheme to stop the boys’ invasion, hoping that they can save Miss Godard's from becoming "Miss Gonads".


The movie is based loosely on writer/director Kernochan's experiences at real-life Connecticut girls' school Rosemary Hall around that time.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    Abby: Odette Sinclair, the Committee has decided not to recommend expulsion and to give you another chance. However, you are grounded for the remainder of the school year.
    Odette: I would like to rebut.
    Susie: You're not allowed a rebuttal.
    Odette: It's a filibuster. I have the floor.
    Abby: We don't allow that, either.
    Odette: What is this, a junta?
  • Alpha Bitch: Abby.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Tinka: The board of trustees has sold this school down the river. They want us to go coed with the St. Ambrose Academy, which is notorious for their drunken behavior, loose morals, and lousy singing.
  • Boarding School
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  • Calling the Old Man Out: Abby, to Page Singer. After Page announces that the school is going coed, the girls rebel, but Page wants Abby to take charge of them, at which point Abby tells her off.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Verena
  • Everybody Smokes: Even though smoking is said to be prohibited on school grounds, it's shown that even the headmistress, Miss McVane, smokes.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: "Up your ziggy with a wah-wah brush!" and "None of your floppin' buggies!"
  • Heel–Face Turn: Abby
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: Ipecac
  • How Did That Get in There?: The plot against Mr. Dewey
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: A few of the boys from St. Ambrose become these after the Flat Critters attack them.
  • New Transfer Student: Odette "Odie"
  • One-Gender School
  • Parental Neglect: Verena, whose parents are divorced, and they dropped her at boarding school, which made her think they don't want anything to do with her.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Tinka's mom, while talking to her, is not even paying attention what Tinka's doing, and doesn't even notice her running off with Snake at the end.
  • Plucky Girl: Odie. And Verena.
  • Porn Stash: Or what Ms. McVane and Mrs. Dewey think is Mr. Dewey's porn stash, is actually from Verena's father's stash.
  • Straw Feminist:
    Odette: You hypocrite. I thought you hated boys.
    Verena: I know, but I've been thinking, perhaps they are like dogs. If we don't take them in, they run wild and are a danger to society.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: At the concert, after the dance.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Yellow Sash of Power: Abby
  • You Are Grounded: After Odette fakes a note from her mom to go out on the town with her friends, Ms. McVane talks with her mom on the phone, and finds out it was a ruse. So, Odette is sent before the student council for a hearing and punishment. They "ground" her for the rest of the year.

Alternative Title(s): All I Wanna Do


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