Thursday, June 5, 2014

[Review] Obvious Child

 "We're trying to figure out... everything."

First-time Writer/Director Gillian Robespierre brings on Obvious Child, a wonderfully fresh and subversive romantic comedy, starring an uproarious Jenny Slate.

Donna is an amateur comedian (a hilarious one). She's immensely self-aware, self-deprecating, and remarkably candid about the personal details in her life, from the traits of her vagina to her bouts with diarrhea and untamed farts. She also just got dumped by her jerk boyfriend, she lost her real job, oh and she's just gotten pregnant from a drunken one night stand with an unassuming prep from a small town in Vermont. His name's Max (Jake Lacy).

Donna immediately schedules an abortion. And she's convinced she'll never see Max again, and she's okay with it. But then, Max keeps randomly popping up wherever Donna is, and his character actually becomes endearing, "I'm not stalking you, I promise." He turns out to be the nicest guy Donna's ever met, and the story revolves around Donna continuing a relationship with him while keeping the secret. The film makes it clear that there will be no re-considerations. Along the way Donna seeks advice on how to handle the situation from her friends ("He's like super Christian," she frets.), as well as her uptight and controlling college professor mother, who demonstrates a superb turn later on.

Jenny Slate shines with comic prowess in every scene. Seriously, she's actually in every single scene. But she also displays great emotional range during some of the film's poignant moments. Robespierre's script is lively, unfiltered, and efficient--bringing laugh after laugh, and piling on squirmy conflicts in a brisk 80-minute runtime. "I'm the queen of awks," Donna claims.

If you're in need of a comedy that is both daring and heartfelt, Obvious Child is the obvious choice.


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