Obvious Child Review: The Feel-Good Abortion Movie of the Summer!

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If you are pro-life, don’t even bother. Obvious Child isn’t for you.

The most respectable and refreshing thing about this comedy is that it doesn’t even bother asking the big question. In fact, it answers it very quickly in the first half-hour when Donna (Jenny Slate) confirms her pregnancy. She immediately reveals to the doctor her plans for the fetus growing inside her.

“You should take some time to think this through,” the doctor persists.

“I have thought this through, I’m getting an abortion,” Donna asserts.

Obvious Child isn’t Juno, where the main character makes a rash decision and then can’t go through with it. Donna knows what is right for her and she plans to stick with it. In a sense, the movie really isn’t about abortion at all.

Instead, Donna’s pregnancy and subsequent decision serves as a catalyst for her to learn to trust others to back up her choices. These people include a mother (Polly Draper) who thinks very little of what her daughter has accomplished and Max (Jake Lacy), the sweet, good-natured would-be father.

Slate carries the film with pitch-perfect comedic timing that continues this wonderful revolution of women in entertainment talking about their bodies as frankly as men do. Yes men, the other sex gets diarrhea too, get over it.

Sadly, there is a huge moment toward the end that the film was building up to that doesn’t land nearly as well as it should. This is where Obvious Child takes a break from being whip-smart and tries to stir up some drama that ultimately pans out how we thought it would in the first place. It’s a big dark spot on an otherwise hilarious and well-crafted film.

But it isn’t enough to ruin it. Far from it, in fact. Too much is good about Obvious Child that there’s no way you won’t walk out of the theater with a big grin on your face (unless you’re pro-life, of course). Slate seems ready to join Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy as Hollywood’s go-to raunchy girls. But it’s good to know she can land the serious moments too. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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