Saturday, June 28, 2014

Obvious Child - A Movie Review

Jenny Slate plays the role of  Donna Stern in this independent film (actually billed as a romantic comedy) about a young stand up comedian (Stern) who loses her boyfriend, her day job, and learns she is pregnant all within a matter of weeks. And her worst Valentine's Day is not so bad after all. The film deals with abortion, but unlike something produced by a major studio that would have to pass muster of focus groups and the wrath of financiers this low budget film is able to give a refreshing look at the subject without getting bogged down in the politics and mess of political correctness. 

Instead, the Obvious Child deals with relationships and their true meaning; which ones are important and which ones in clear light really are toxic. Donna's profession as a comedian carries through in her personality and how she handles every day. Until she hits the wall, she is moving through life like many twenty somethings not really ready to grow up and figure out what they want to do as an adult.

There are some hilarious scenes in the film she plays with great aplomb. One of my favorites involves a litany of calls to her x-boyfriend's voice mail one night where as she continues to drink many glasses of wine she pours out her feelings, vents her anger, then apologizes with each call making less sense as she tries to explain the previous call. 

It is unfortunate that this film will not get much attention or be distributed in wide release. The opening weekend was only $77,000. However, this is a prime example of how a refreshing look at a touchy subject can be made into an excellent film without all of the magic of Hollywood. It only takes a good screen play, good direction, and a strong cast. The Obvious Child pulls all this together for 84 minutes of pure enjoyment. Unfortunately most of the public will not even be aware that this gem exists.

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