Tuesday, August 05, 2014
"Obvious Child" is a flippant little comedy about "reproductive freedom"; I still wait for "South Dakota"
“Obvious Child” (directed by Gillian Robespierre) is a comedy about abortion, which sounds like an oxymoron. It’s also about a young woman who is indeed obviously a grown child, barely cognizant of the responsibilities of adulthood despite having a college professor for a doting mother (oh, please – but remember “Jack and Bobby” on TheWB some years back).
The young woman, Donna Slate (Jenny Stern) does comedy club (rather like Kate Clinton) in Brooklyn, for tips, and works in a bookstore. The first blow is that the bookstore loses its lease, so she loses her job. She’s dating a nice young man Max (Jake Lacy), who himself looks, well, rather smooth. Pretty soon she has morning sickness, visits a clinic, and sets up a “procedure” she can’t pay for herself, five weeks into the pregnancy, on Valentine’s Day.
Max, however, lets out signals that he would like to be a grandfather someday. All of this comports with George Gilder’s theory of “Men and Marriage” back in the 1980s.
There are a couple of supporting gay characters (male and female) who don’t make the choices that lead to this kind of dilemma.
Although this film is short (84 minutes) and fluffy, it makes me wonder what has happened with a much weightier film, “South Dakota” (Bruce Isacson), which was supposed to be out last October.
The title of the movie comes from a song by Paul Simon. The sound track has a lot of licensed music, and some classical, including the scherzo from the Symphony #7 by Beethoven, played out of tune apparently on a tape player with a lot of wow and flutter.
The film is said to have been funded with Kickstarter.
Planned Parenthood offers its own extended “featurette” trailer.
The official Tumblr site is here. It did not need the full wide screen aspect ratio, with so many closeups.
I saw the film at the West End in Washington. There was a fair turnout for early Tuesday evening even though the film has been around for a while. I did not care for the flippancy of this film (I do look forward to “South Dakota”) but it did well on the festival circuit.