The Crisiserion Collection: Obvious Child

Watch this Trailer. Right now. Go. I’ll wait.

You back? OK. I think you should watch this movie.

Obvious Child is the directorial debut of Gillian Robespierre. She, along with Anna Bean and Karen Maine, produced a short film of the same name five years ago, frustrated by romantic comedies and dramas portraying young women and men tackling unplanned pregnancies sans abortion. Because guess what? Abortion is real. It can be sad and relieving, bringing tears that satisfy both emotions. One in four women will have a pregnancy terminated by her thirtieth birthday.1 It’s place is, despite appearances, common and mundane in our world. To leave it relegated in the realm of the taboo contradicts and hides that commonality. It is everyday. Robespierre and her friends wanted to see a movie that showed. So they wrote one.

But. This is not an abortion film. Obvious Child is about crises.

Robespierre, Bean and Maine wrote the lead role specifically for comedian Jenny Slate. Slate portrays Donna, a stand-up comic who is struggling with relationships, her career, her finances. Donna is a wonderfully flawed human being, which is a testament both to Robespierre’s writing and Slate’s acting. More than that, this film presents one of the most complex and genuine examples of the quarter-century life crisis. Donna is weird and silly, but she is not a caricature. Her plight to figure out her life is all too relatable and bring into the light of day the normal struggles of our delayed transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Obvious Child is hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking. Its characters can make you laugh and offer you solace. Solace that we are not alone. Solace that even when something really, truly unplanned happens, all isn’t lost.

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