Obvious Child (2014)
Critic Consensus: Tackling a sensitive subject with maturity, honesty, and wit, Obvious Child serves as a deeply promising debut for writer-director Gillian Robespierre.
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Critic Reviews for Obvious Child
Robespierre's direction of the many fine actors she assembled is assured, her sense of pacing nicely loose-limbed.
Hats off to any film that tries (and succeeds) at presenting challenging, off-putting characters from whose palms I'm reluctantly persuaded to eat.
Despite a few too-cute moments, the movie is both smarter and more sympathetic than that glib shorthand.
Slate is adept with biting remarks and self-deprecation, and she balances Donna somewhere between flightiness and innocence.
Sorry, partisans, but there's nothing obvious about "Obvious Child."
Audience Reviews for Obvious Child
Meh. Couldn't be bothered with this. Watched 20 minutes. Was bored. Skimmed in a bit further. Still bored. I know from reading other reviews that this movie deals with abortion as a valid choice, and it's to be applauded for that, but I just didn't like the characters and I found the movie didn't make me want to watch on. Seriously. Just meh.
This film deals with the very problematic issue of abortion, in an assured and humorous way. All women have held fears about having to get an abortion sometime in their lives, whether due to scares or their own inner terror. There are so many questions to ask yourself when dealing with this tragically sensitive question, and director/writer Gillian Robespierre takes it to task. Jenny Slate gives a powerful performance as Donna, a stand-up comedian and out of work book store clerk whose life is falling apart. Recently dumped and made depressed, Donna has a one night stand and gets pregnant. Of course she freaks out, and has to rely on her support system for guidance during this trying time. Women are definitely scared of this process, but of course more frightened of the prospect of their loved ones looking down on them or feeling hatred from others. Robespierre gives women the tools to feel empowered but also sympathized with, by depicting the process realistically. The comedy in this film is also very edgy, and it cuts the tension at pivotal moments. The only underlying problem I found with the film was the romantic relationship between the two leads, which I could have done without. It was messy terrain to get through, because relationships do spring even after incidents like these, and men usually support women's decisions like this, but it just didn't hold my interest.
A comedienne gets pregnant from a one-night stand and resolves to get an abortion, but when she encounters the father of her unborn child, she is torn about whether to confront him. There's a lot to like about this film. Jenny Slate gives a remarkably charming and funny performance, and the plot unfolds organically. What is more, it's one of the first pro-choice films I've ever seen. In almost all films, abortion is considered bad, weak, or otherwise undesirable. But Obvious Child treats abortion as a choice and a viable solution to a difficult, life-changing event. Also, the film's milieu is hipster chic. But unlike HBO's Girls, which from what I've seen is nothing more than a trite, deliberately shocking soap opera for hipsters by hipsters, Obvious Child doesn't require knowledge of, acceptance in, or agreement with hipster culture in order to enjoy the film. It's hipster without be too asshole about it. Overall, hipsters love mirrors, and here's a very flattering hipster mirror.
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