Film Review: ‘Obvious Child’ is a More Authentic Romantic Comedy

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Real life is not a romantic comedy, unless you’re willing to understand the levels of clownish tragedy that sometimes accompanies it. The new film “Obvious Child” comprehends all that, and has an unforgettable performance from Jenny Slate in delivering the goods. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Despite the spark of the new romance in the story, there is also underemployment, drunkenness, half remembered one night stands and an unwanted pregnancy – just the usual menu of when-harry-met-sally hijinks. “Obvious Child” covers these undiscovered topics within the film with humor, warmth and courage. The characters have to make decisions, and refreshingly those decisions are not subject to debate or judgment, they just exist in the lives of the participants, and they manage and maintain them accordingly. The main choice has to do with abortion, and it is accomplished by the heroine based on what she needs in the moment, without the intervention of lofty theories or sign-carrying dispute.

Donna (Jenny Slate) is a stand-up comedian and clerk at a bookseller. Her boyfriend has just dumped her, and her storytelling-style act incorporates that pain into her monologue. An audience member named Max (Jake Lacy) is intrigued by Donna’s declarations, and faster than you can say several drinks and a taxi ride, Donna and Max are co-mingling.

The events of the that evening are barely remembered, as Donna gathers her clothing. She feels a bit embarrassed the whole turn-of-events, and wants to put it behind her. That proves to be difficult when she finds out she is pregnant. With consultation from her friend Nellie (Gaby Hoffman), and support from her parents Jacob (Richard Kind) and Nancy (Polly Draper), Donna decides to get an abortion. Cue the romantic music, and add some strings.

“Obvious Child” continues its limited release in Chicago on June 13th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind and Polly Draper. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Obvious Child”

Jenny Slate
Donna (Jenny Slate) Contemplates Her Fate in ‘Obvious Child’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Obvious Child”

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