Friday 29 August 2014

"Obvious Child" (The Guardian 29/08/14)

Obvious Child ***
Dir: Gillian Robespierre. With: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann. 84 mins. Cert: 15

Of all the messy-women comedies engendered by the success of Bridesmaids, Gillian Robespierre’s low-key charmer might be the slyest. It’s a thoughtful treatise on female choice couched as a raucous character study, landing no-holds-barred Brooklyn stand-up Donna (Jenny Slate) with an accidental pregnancy, and thereby forcing her to get serious with the very body she’s been stripmining for laughs. That Donna keeps bumping into her inseminator is a contrivance that only makes her decision trickier: Jake Lacy’s Max is no deadbeat dad, but a chivalrous prospect who just happens to have fumbled the condom. Some of this material still sounds like a straightened-out routine, but its stronger stretches approach the personal, defiantly unemphatic territory of TV’s Louie: Robespierre and Slate deserve credit for nudging the abortion narrative away from scaremongering horror and back towards, if not an entirely happy ending, then at least something a girl might get a joke or two out of. 

Obvious Child opens in selected cinemas from today.

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