Movie Review: Obvious Child (2014)

OC-blasts-funnyGritty, Realistic and In Your Face

four and a half stars

Quirky girls are becoming the new norm on television and movies and Obvious Child features and excellently quickly, awkward lead. Right now, it’s at limited release, but this indie gem is likely to draw big audiences.

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is an aspiring stand-up comedienne in her 20s whose life is falling apart. She’s just been dumped by her boyfriend, and lost her job when she decides to go home (extremely loaded) with another bar patron (also extremely loaded.) and winds up knocked up. Enter much angst and many jokes about abortion.

This film is like a film length movie of Girls. The lead is an inappropriate, crude, hard to like hipster living a hand to mouth lifestyle thanks to short term jobs and really supportive parents.

The beginning of the film makes the lead hard to like. She seems like she’s entirely self-centered and incredibly needy. But as you get to know her, you get to like her and even start to root for her a bit.

Problems abound with the side characters, who suffer from serious underdevelopment. Her parents are kind of reverse clichés, with an overbearing mom and an ultra-cuddly dad.


The second half of the movie is heavy on the abortion issue and it faces it with a decidedly liberal slant. If you’re a pro-lifer, you might want to skip this movie, as it will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

I like that we got to see the real New York with this one. Movies based in New York tend to be too clean and happy, with 20 something’s living in loft apartments that could easily cost 10 grand a month. In this New York, we see a girl living in a crappy, dirty apartment with a clunky radiator, in a dirty area, filled with actual dive bars. It’s a more realistic look at the city that never sleeps.

This movie is not afraid to cross boundaries and approach taboo subjects in a taboo way. Donna is not a cookie-cutter good girl trying to make it in the city. She’s selfish, obnoxious and capable of making huge mistakes that many women her age make, including excessive drinking, casual sex and failure to use a condom appropriately. She’s far more realistic than most of the ways girls in their 20s are portrayed right now.



The ability to make people laugh about such a serious topic will make this movie an instant classic, if a bit controversial. This is a movie made by people who understand 20-something life in New York and they are not afraid to get gritty about it.

This is an ugly movie that manages to make light of serious issues. It’s gritty, realistic and has that New York in your face style that resonates with the audience of Girls. While not largely marketed, it’s likely to find an audience among the same type of people who are a fan of the Girls series, as well as angst filled 20 something’s living in New York.

If you don’t cringe when the word ‘abortion’ is mentioned, and if you can handle looking at it from a decidedly left-leaning perspective, Obvious Child is absolute worth the watch.  Watch the Official Trailer Below:

[youtube id=”PZIcDLuj5xw” width=”633″ height=”356″]

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