Obvious Child

I hated the first 3 minutes of this film, and then loved the next 81.

Donna (Jenny Slate) is a confessional comic; she spills the dirty details of her life to a small obviouschild__jennyslateaudience in the back room of a dingy place. Not everyone in her life can handle being the subject of her standup, and the truth is, I could barely tolerate it myself. It was the usual stuff: I have a vagina, I’m Jewish, etc etc. But. But when she leaves the stage, she’s enormously funny. You get the sense that her stand-up will in fact take off one day, maybe even one day soon.

But not today.  Because today she’s been “dumped up with” and she’s drinking and she’s oversharing, which is the only kind of sharing she knows how to do. With a microphone and a whine. And like, 17 shots. Cut to: drunken one-night stand, which leads to pregnancy, which leads to an abortion.

obviouschildBut a funny abortion! Okay, it’s not so funny. It’s actually dealt with pretty realistically, but with the kind of wit and truth that bathes the subject in a new light. Refreshingly unapologetic. And oddly becomes something of a romantic comedy, because who doesn’t take a date to the abortion clinic on Valentine’s Day? And P.S. – if you do, do you bring flowers?

I really like Slate on the Kroll Show, and director Gillian Robespierre knew she had the chops to handle a title role. Donna is a sometimes exasperating character but Slate pulls it off and is magnetic in every scene, whether petulant, snarky, or earnest.

I jotted down so many brilliant lines, all worth quoting, but I’m refraining for your sake, so that you may enjoy them from the right voice. But there are also fart jokes, which have no business even existing. So this is not a perfect film, but I was really won over by it. I’ll take the lows with the highs. I was charmed by Obvious Child, even if there was very little obvious about it. And I expect big and bigger things from both Robespierre and Slate in the future.




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