Movies of 2016 #01 Obvious Child (2014)

(Rooks Nest Entertainment)

(Rooks Nest Entertainment)

I despise the movie Knocked Up. It has a creative team I love and a murderers row of great actors but it is so full of hate and misguided messages that it makes me ill just thinking about it. Ignoring the misanthropic parts the message seems to be that all men are children and all women are too serious and the only cure for an unwanted pregnancy is a happy family unit. By the end of the movie each character has changed their personalities and the two leads get together even though the only thing they have in common is a child they accidentally made.

This message that an unwanted pregnancy should be handled by the parents getting together is a common one and a dangerous one too. Sometimes an unwanted pregnancy occurs between two people who should not be together in the long term and bringing up a child in that environment usually doesn’t end well.

That is why a movie like Obvious Child is so refreshing. Jenny Slate plays Donna, a stand up comedian who, after a messy break up, ends up having a one night stand with Max which results in a pregnancy. Obvious Child does not even bother engaging in the idea of Donna keeping the baby as she is broke, single, unemployed, and not looking to start a family. She immediately realises that she needs an abortion and the biggest issue is the cost. The movie is not really about the abortion though, it’s more about Donna and her daily struggles and also about the way women and their bodily functions are handled by society. Donna’s first lines are all about the state of a woman’s underwear by the end of the day and the movie is filled with references to women farting, shitting, pissing, and having their periods that are delivered in a frank, honest, and funny way, much as the bodily functions of men have been portrayed in movies since forever.

A fantastic movie that is warm, funny, and unflinching, this should be seen by everyone and Jenny Slate should be huge star.

 

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