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'Abortion comedy' oddly adorable

Review — New film 'Obvious Child' genuinely funny, explores relevant societal issues


Abortion is an issue people typically feel strongly about. But in “Obvious Child,” it’s portrayed as more of a fact of life. It happens and people have to move past it. Not making the subject the central focal point of the film is just one of the reasons it’s so enjoyable.

Jenny Slate plays Donna, an aspiring stand-up comic who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand. In the days prior to her appointment at Planned Parenthood, Donna struggles with a break-up, losing her job and not knowing what lies next for her in life.New film - Jenny Slate plays amateur comedian Donna in the new film ‘Obvious Child.' After a one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy) she finds herself pregnant and struggles to tell him of the impending abortion. The film opens June 20.

As a whole, the film is relatable to anyone who’s ever been dumped, lost a job or had parents. But portraying an unapologetic comedian who is thoroughly, and sometimes disgustingly, herself, “Obvious Child” is genuinely funny.

Sure there’s a lot of bathroom humor, but what makes comedy entertaining is truthful observation. Donna’s character does nothing but, which may be why abortion can be such a large part of the film, without being a film about abortion.

The film is an expansion of a short also starring Slate from 2009. Because it was so well received, it was flushed out with additional mishaps and self-doubt. Director Gillian Robespierre has commented in several interviews that she wanted to create a film that differed from other “abortion comedies.” Films like “Knocked Up” or “Juno” where characters with unwanted pregnancies consider abortion but in the end decide to keep their baby, for example. “Obvious Child” certainly succeeds in its goal of having a distinctly different take on abortion in modern society.

As for the rest of the storyline, grasping at adolescence brings the movie home. It’s something every one struggles with, and could have placed the film in a different genre if it wasn’t so funny. The film is an oddly adorable masterpiece and something everyone should see at least once.

“Obvious Child” opens Friday.



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