What I Watched: Obvious Child
Guys, this is a really special little movie. It’s so funny and honest and modest in it’s scope (I mean that as a compliment). Jenny Slate turns in a hilarious performance as a 20-something Brooklyn woman who’s down and out and who’s life seems to be coming apart at the seams.
Sound familiar? Admittedly this is a scenario we’ve seen many, many times recently but it’s handled with such deft care in the hands of Gillian Robespierre that it in no way feels well worn. It’s fresh and honest and unique and fucking, sidesplittingly hilarious.
I don’t know if the following are spoilers but maybe?
In most movies like this the woman unexpectedly gets pregnant and for the next 30 minutes agonizingly weighs her options. She’s young, she’s unprepared for motherhood, she didn’t want to have kids this young. It’s a tough decision and she maybe even schedules an appointment at Planned Parenthood to get an abortion. But on the way to the clinic she has a change of heart. She (and sometimes her boyfriend) decide they want to have the baby! They’ll be young parents even though they didn’t intend to and probably shouldn’t because movies!
This is one of my biggest pet peeves about movies and completely undermines the fact that it’s normal and ok to not want to take an unexpected pregnancy to term. A lot of people get pregnant despite their best efforts with birth control and they know unequivocally they don’t want to or shouldn’t or just couldn’t have children and so they get an abortion without a second thought. And it’s painless and not a huge deal and their life goes on just as it did before. But you’ll almost never see that scenario play out in movies.
Obvious Child shows abortion for what it actually is: a relatively minor medical procedure instead of some gruesome and horrific ordeal that most Hollywood movies lead you to believe.
Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not just some pedantic, message driven screed, it’s so much more than that. It’s a beautiful and subtle portrait of dating, failure in your 20’s, break ups and navigating hilariously complicated love. And of course Jenny Slate being amazing.
I am so excited to see this movie.