Monday Movie Review: Obvious Child

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Movie poster for Obvious Child

Obvious Child was released in 2014 but I’m cheap yet don’t pirate so I just got around to seeing this. The movie follows Donna (played well by Jenny Slate), a Jewish comedienne in her late 20s going through a breakup and lost job. She becomes pregnant on a one night stand and schedules an abortion. That’s all I really knew about the movie going in.

There is a lot of bathroom humor in the movie. Flatulence, dog crap, public urination, and crusty panties all get screen time. Unlike most comedies, the bathroom jokes aren’t reserved exclusively for male characters, and male and female bodies are portrayed as humorously gross in pretty equal measure.

One of my favorite elements of the story was the other women in Donna’s life who talked with her about their abortions. These conversations helped show the truth, that abortion is common even if hushed up, that people you know have needed them before. In a silly movie with character nicknames like Pee-Farter, those disclosures were moments of gentle intimacy.

I felt like the depiction of Planned Parenthood offices and staff were realistic, and the reactions from her friends believable. It passes Bechdel, having scenes where two or more women discuss: breast soreness, stand up comedy, abortion, and Valentine’s Day

I related to Donna so much. From her drinking wine in pregnancy while waiting for her abortion appointment to her decision to talk about it to having her appointment set for Valentine’s Day – mine was one week after but I discovered the pregnancy then. Like me she discovered the pregnancy too early for a surgical abortion. I chose the abortion pill rather than reschedule.

Obvious Child breaks a lot of molds and defies a lot of tropes. The most obvious one (spoiler warning) is that she goes through with the abortion. I’m so used to any character who considers abortion instead choosing to raise the baby at the last second, I was shocked when she didn’t. And so so pleased, to see me and my choice and my lack of regret in the protagonist.

I would recommend this movie for adults and mature or older teens. It’s going into my library of movies to rewatch and I may  make viewings an annual abortion anniversary tradition.

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