Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Obvious Child, or: Russian Roulette

To be completely in line with this month’s theme, I fucked up and forgot we were posting today.  That is the level of my commitment to this blog—I will deliberately fail to remember things just to more authentically represent a theme.  You’re welcome, readers.

Our theme, of course, is “Oh Dear God How Did I End up on This Adulthood Train and How Quickly Can I Jump off Without Winding up on the Tracks?”

The Film:

Obvious Child

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime

The Premise:

It’s the abortion comedy you never knew you needed!

The Uncondensed Version:

Donna is a stand-up comedian struggling to make a living from her passion in NYC.  Though talented, she is just barely holding things together in her personal and professional life.  Things start to unravel when her boyfriend dumps her after a gig.  To make matters worse, the bookstore where she works during the day is closing, so there goes her major source of income.  Luckily, Donna has friends to help her through:  the angry feminist and the gay best friend.

Two women clasp hands in a bathroom.
Feminists make the greatest bffs!

While Donna has an easy relationship with her father, she doesn’t get along well with her mother, who pushes her to do more with her life.

Still not over her ex, Donna takes the opportunity to get shitfaced both before and after a standup gig, resulting in (a) perhaps the most emotionally intense stream-of-consciousness ever for a standup routine, and (b) a one-night stand with an awkward but sweet guy she meets at the bar.

A group of people seated in a dimly-lit bar face a person performing stand-up comedy. None of them are laughing.
Read the room, girl.  Please.

If you go into this film knowing it’s an abortion comedy, you know what happens next:  Donna discovers she’s pregnant and decides to get an abortion.

After that, a series of miscommunications and chance encounters with her one-night stand, Max, leads her to believe she should tell him about the abortion.  That is, until Max tells her how much he’s looking forward to being a grandfather, and Donna begins to think he should never know.

A man in a bookshop stands facing a woman.
Book sale??!  This is the most unexpected surprise I could possibly learn about today!

To borrow a page from Christa’s book, dramatic questions:  Will Max find out?  If so, how will he react?  And will Donna give herself a break for not having all of the answers?

4/5 Pink Panther Heads

Easily.

I really didn’t know what to expect from this one, but it unflinchingly addresses a (still) controversial topic with warmth and humor.  I flipping love the dialogue in this and the relationships Donna has with her parents and close friends.  The feminist friend has a great line about Donna playing Russian roulette with her vagina.  Max is unrealistically sweet, or perhaps I am unrealistically cynical.  But I’ll take it.

We explore briefly how this procedure can be cost-prohibitive for some women.  At $500, Donna’s abortion is a relatively low-cost medical procedure, but she cries when the doctor gives her this figure.

There are also several female experiences with abortion–for Donna, it is an easy decision but she still feels a certain level of stress and shame.  Her angry feminist friend (I say this with affection), however, feels zero regret about it.  Donna’s abortion doesn’t ruin her life or wrack her with guilt—it’s a decision about her body and future rather than the act of cold-blooded murder certain conservative groups make it out to be.

I will stop now because I could go on all day.

Would Christa take this film out for a nice Italian meal or make up flimsy excuses during chance encounters with it the next day?  Find out in her review here!

Activism, Life Rants

A Few Words About Choice

My intention with this post is not to sway any opinions, but to express my admiration for women who unabashedly support the causes they believe in.

I care about politics more than I’d like to, but I haven’t been one for political rallies up to this point.  They hurt, even when peaceful.  I attended a pro-choice rally a couple of weekends ago organized as a counterpoint to a demonstration at a clinic that provides abortions.  Basically, the people who work for the clinic get harassed for doing their job, and it was especially obnoxious during Lent.

It’s so self-congratulatory.  They wouldn’t do this alleged praying privately because no one would be watching.  Perhaps not a surprise when the current likely GOP nominee is just the one who equates being right with yelling loudest.

Keep in mind these were pastors, religious leaders, who said they were there because they love us and want to save us…despite the fact that we are murderers who will burn in hell.  And that we are Satanist communist pagans, which I really don’t see the problem with.  I admit I got a bit of a giggle when a few pro-choice women started chanting Hail Satan and the pro-lifers believed it to be a literal moment of devil worship.  This is why liberals can be funny but it’s so incredibly painful when conservatives try to use humor—everything has to be literal.

One of the pastors argued that you can’t speak Gaelic and be pro-choice…with a member of our group who then proceeded to speak Gaelic.  That he doesn’t care if anyone gets raped, there are alternatives to abortion.  That all of the Christians there would adopt a child—but have they?  And have they supported a single mother who has no job, maternity leave, or healthcare?

It got really ugly when a pastor told a veteran who has served 3 tours of duty to get back in the kitchen.  And called Obama a Muslin f–, one of only a handful of words I won’t use on this blog.  (Hint:  not the “fuck” f word.)  So many homophobic slurs and the reiteration that sodomy is a sin (but it’s fun).  And abortion is racist because it’s mostly black and Irish babies (I have no idea where the Irish part comes from or why they still think Irish is a race; perhaps it surprises no one that they aren’t interested in talking about Latinas when discussing stats).   It was the only time I’ve heard women un-ironically called “jezebel” and “witch” outside of The Crucible.

I don’t mean to assign blame to religion because I know these groups don’t represent a majority of the faithful.  This isn’t meant as an attack on religion, but on a certain approach to religion.  The mentality that there’s a correct religion to follow, so it’s okay to have a morality complex and talk down to everyone who disagrees with you.  I can’t stand the idea that there’s no room for a viewpoint that isn’t yours (a statement that I acknowledge contains a certain degree of irony).

Some of the cars driving by were encouraging, while others were pretty douchy.  Guess how many of those driving by flipping us the bird were women?  Zero.  And guess how many middle fingers we got from men?  Don’t tell me this issue is about religion or morality or politics.  It’s about men controlling women.

Besides the torrent of verbal abuse, it was sort of the ideal social gathering for me as it required no small talk whatsoever.  Lots of chanting “What do we want?”  “Choice!” and honking and screaming when people supported us.  I truly admire the activists who attend rallies every month and even every week and manage to hear insults hurled at them without taking them to heart.  It was extremely difficult for me to switch gears and go to work later that day without the words popping into my head.

As a librarian it really hurts that people don’t bother to find credible sources of information, which they could at the library.  FOR FREE.  These people STILL believe Planned Parenthood sells baby parts even though the alleged proof was fake, and Planned Parenthood has done more to prevent abortions than Right to Life.  The words you use and the “truth” you spread can kill, so please be careful with them.

You can still feel morally superior and pray for me.

*Image via Unsplash