Obvious Child, film review: Low-budget comedy-drama is disarmingly frank

(15) Gillian Robespierre, 85 mins Starring: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann
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The Independent Culture

Writer-director Robespierre's low-budget comedy-drama is both caustic and heartfelt. Its New York Jewish comedian heroine Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is sometimes disarmingly frank in her confessions ("I used to hide what my vagina does to my underpants") but she is also witty and very perceptive.

What's most impressive here is the way Robespierre combines familiar romcom elements with a far darker story about the problems (unplanned pregnancy, the threat of unemployment) that Donna faces.

Slate plays her with a thoroughly engaging mix of zaniness and vulnerability. She is well supported by Polly Draper as her bossy but sympathetic mom and by Jake Lacy as her one night stand.

It is refreshing, too, to come across a film that deals with the issue of abortion in such a grounded, matter-of-fact way.