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


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!