Review: Obvious Child (2014)

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, originally a short film then turned into a full feature starring Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, Richard Kind, Polly Draper and David Cross. A very unique version of a romantic comedy centred around a comedienne whose one night stand turns into an unplanned pregnancy and a well timed chance to take a look at her life as an independent woman and adult.

This is definitely a huge boost to Jenny Slate’s career, a chance to show off her comedy talent and open up more opportunities to take advantage of it; she may not be quite the household name but you may recognise her from one of her many television appearances over the last 10 years in: Saturday Night Live, Hello Ladies, House of Lies, Parks and Recreation or Married. Her voice will also be recognised in the upcoming animated features Zootropolis and Secret Life of Pets. This is a perfect representation of her talent, it’s fresh, funny and clever; her character is completely relatable, extremely easy to sympathise with and leads the story fairly effortlessly. Especially alongside Jake Lacy who is slowly becoming more present on our screens and is the ultimate handsome nice guy, undeniably charming and a perfect choice for the film. It’s romantic comedy without acting as though life is exactly how you want it and anything is possible, romance in a more realistic world where perhaps everything isn’t so perfect, and the characters are portrayed by actors who show that well.

The story is slap bang in the modern world with all of it’s negativity, self doubt, money troubles, accidents, divorced parents and a little bit of the good stuff too. Observational humour is unavoidable, it’s the style of our day in television, film and countless comedians’ work, which of course makes sense as our leading lady is herself a comedienne whose work of choice is her day to day life. The script is funny, it is neither subtle nor over the top and easily resonates by being realistically a situation that plenty of women could be currently or have already gone through a similar situation. The story gives you that theme of being down on your luck, without moving too far into the realm of self-pity which allows the humour to flow alongside the sympathy. With an 84 minutes running time it stops itself from allowing too many embellishments or jokes that are simply for the sake of it, they come naturally from the movement of plot and may not all make you laugh out loud but that’s a fairly big task these days and not actually necessity for a good film.

At the heart of this film’s appeal is pure and simple honesty, no glamorisation or exaggeration, just a story about a slightly weird and sweet woman who finds herself in the midst of a crisis (of sorts). It’s a medley of humour and the poignant realities of day to day struggles and an unplanned pregnancy. The plot may be based around negativity but it’s easily a positive experience, sometimes you don’t need to see things that are perfect, it’s almost better to see the best made of a bad situation.

Verdict: 7.5/10

 

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