Obvious Child was one of those movies from the past couple years that slipped under a lot of people’s radars. I saw it for a second time recently and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I saw it. The film is a touching comedy about a woman making a difficult decision and how that decision affects her life. I found the movie very similar to Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in the sense that it is an independent comedy featuring a character that must deal with a difficult and dramatic situation that never uses the traumatic event as a punchline, but as a way to tell a funny story about people we care about. 50/5o was about a man struggling with cancer. Obvious Child is about a woman who chooses to have an abortion.
Abortion is a difficult subject to broach because it is a sensitive topic and idea that offends many and makes others uncomfortable. Thankfully, Obvious Child doesn’t treat this subject lightly nor does it strive to make a big political statement. It treats its topic and the characters dealing with it with respect and attention. It shows the emotional impact of it in a realistic manner, but the film never forgets to be funny and show characters react accordingly.
This film, for one centered around a serious issue, is very funny. Jenny Slate stars in the film and does a remarkable job playing this person who is a struggling but very funny comedienne who has a incredibly drunken one night stand and fights out she’s pregnant because of that brief sexual encounter. Slate is incredible in the role. She plays her character of Donna as your dirty minded silly but emotional friend. One who is talented and kind but is a little self centered and hasn’t quite found the success she deserves. Donna is not a perfect person and frequently makes social mistakes and unsurprisingly is a little rude to the man who is trying to court her, who also is the one who impregnates her. But for all her shortcomings (being pregnant is not one of them), she is still a sweet person the audience cares about.
This movie is sweet and honest and funny and special in that it happens to be a very funny movie with some humorous stand up and some cringe worthy stand up that also happens to be about an abortion. That balance in tone, dealing with comedic characters with a dramatic and at times romantic story is great in this film. Gillian Robespierre has crafted a tale that has the right tone because the characters she has written aren’t caricatures. Yes they are funny but they are fully realized humans with actual relatable identities and emotions.
Obvious Child is a solid comedy with a large heart following a woman dealing with a tough decision with care and a lot of humor. This is a very funny movie that will definitely move you. It is available on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys smart comedies that aren’t afraid of emotion. Even if you are one who struggles with the concept of abortion, see it for Jenny Slate’s wonderful and hilarious performance. She jokes about poop. It’s funny. Go see it.