Obvious Child  (2014)

I adore Jenny Slate. She's done a ton of voice-work (you'll recognize her from Bob's Burgers or Big Mouth or Muppet Babies or 'The Secret Life of Pets'), and I loved everything she did with Parks & Rec and Kroll Show. This movie had come and gone without me even noticing, and I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

Donna Stern (Slate) is a late-20s Jewish stand-up comic working in NYC. Her act is built around honesty and openness, doing bits about her boyfriend, her sex life, her farting, etc. Her life crashes after her boyfriend dumps her and the bookstore she works at for steady income closes. While wallowing in misery, she hooks up with a guy from the bar/comedy club, and ends up pregnant.

Donna has a surprisingly strong support system around her. Her parents are divorced, and while her parents are painted with a cliched stroke of the laid-back dad and the sewn-up mom, they're both loving characters. Donna's two best friends (Gaby Hoffmann and Gabe Liedman) are great, and actually bounce off eachother well with one being a fairly broad gay stereotype, and the other much more nuanced. Jake Lacy's turn as Max, the WASP-y one night stand that changes Donna's life, is solid too.

I hate the term "dramedy", but it's pretty apt for this movie. It's not a "black comedy", it's not a drama with some jokes, nor a comedy with some serious moments; it's actually a really good split of humor and heaviness, reflective of real life - sometimes we laugh at the wrong moment, sometimes we take the wrong things too seriously, sometimes it doesn't go the way we planned, and sometimes it just works out.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "Obvious Child" a 7 out of 10.




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