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Obvious Child Review: Funny and Thought Provoking at the Same Time

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Obvious Child (movie)


This writer can’t really imagine anyone, pro-choice or pro-life, finding the topic of abortion funny (at least anyone who could possibly go through with abortion or carrying a child to term). In this film abortion is no more funny than cancer in The Fault in Our Stars, but humor is a way to help get through something that is devastating to the protagonist. As stated in previous film reviews, this writer feels that the best films encourage people to think while entertaining them. Obvious Child certainly poses a lot of questions about the fate of the relationship of Donna (Jenny Slate) and Max (Jake Lacy). The story is ultimately a slice of her life lasting about two months. She clearly had a life before meeting Max and will continue to live whether or not she ends up with him. There are things that happen in the film that seem to be hints about the possible fate of their relationship, but writer/director Gillian Robespierre gives the audience credit for having brains and imagination.
Donna is a creative woman in her late twenties (a stand-up comedian, who is a less obnoxious version of Sarah Silverman (this writers enjoys Sarah Silverman in small doses)), who struggles financially but isn’t setting for the life of having a “real job” just yet. Her boyfriends breaks up with her after revealing that he has been cheating on her with one of his friends. She obsesses for a while, but finally heeds the sage advice of her friends and family that a man who cheated in her isn’t worth the time she is wasting on him when she meets Max, a business school graduate. They have a good chat over drinks where she coaxes him into loosening up a bit by peeing in the alley behind the club where Donna does her stand-up. Romance ensures when Max accidently breaks wind in Donna’s face leading to a one night stand that results in pregnancy.
People familiar with quirky, independent romantic comedies can predict the path of the story, but smart dialogue and likeable characters mean that the audience has fun walking down that path. This writer doesn’t recommend film to everyone. Abortion is a controversial top with people standing firm in their positions on both sides of the issue. Whether a character in a film like Obvious chooses to have an abortion or carry to term, people on either side will become angry. It’s worth a DVD purchase if someone has cash and it happens to be in the store and it could make a good addition to a Netflix queue as well.