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Parents' Guide to

Obvious Child

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Smart, irreverent, edgy romcom about complex choices.

Movie R 2014 83 minutes
Obvious Child Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

For all those times you watched a woman get an unwanted pregnancy and yelled “just get an abortion” at the screen

This is a really sweet and fun little film about a woman making a choice 3 out of 10 women make and a really great guy who supports her. It’s something I wish we could see more of, because abortion is common, safe, and doesn’t scar people for life. Jenny Slate is pure magic and Jake Lacey does the same sweet goy routine he’ll perfect in the “High Fidelity” series.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+

Love letter to the abortion culture

The story surrounds a young and single struggling stand up comedian. It does a decent job of outlining how the bad parts of a person's twenties, find their way, their place, trying to excel in their work, finding that right relationship. All very relatable (though not terribly funny). But things take a turn. Sarah, the main character is pregnant after a one night stand, the practice of which is encouraged and painted in a positive and accepting light in the film. She becomes pregnant, and spends the majority of the remainder of the film worried about what her lover or her mother with think. After telling her mother, it is taken as "no big deal", that this is no big problem, and mother shares her "no big deal" abortion story, with the exception of having to travel to New Jersey, and being forced to have the abortion on a random kitchen table. This leads to an excellent mother-daughter bonding session. With her newly found strength, she decides to tell her lover, and she does it in her stand up act!! How brave and liberating!! Her lover, just can't handle it and walks out of her act, but have no fear as the audience smiles encouragingly at the news of her abortion. The boy friend returns the next day, with flowers no less, in time to go with her to the procedure. They have the procedure and everyone seems to live happily ever after. This movie might have well been produced by planned parenthood. It barely touches on the fear and feelings that a woman in this situation. It trivializes a huge decision, the main character spends more time agonizing over who to go home with than whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. Sends many wrong messages.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

With deep empathy and lots of bold humor, OBVIOUS CHILD manages to be so many things at once. It's a celebration of female friendships (Gaby Hoffman is fantastic as Donna's honest, caring best friend); a heartfelt, authentic rendering of loving-but-rocky parent-child relationships post-college; and a smart, sassy story about a woman navigating thorny terrain when faced with an unexpected romance and the very real consequences of what at first was likely going to be a one-night stand. All of it's steeped in authenticity, without judgment or cliché.

The hilarious and very relatable Slate makes the movie, with great assistance from pretty much every other person cast in it (including David Cross' slimy turn as a fellow comic). The romantic plot is fairly predictable, but its wit more than makes it up for its shortcomings. Plus, director Gillian Robespierre steers clear of the usual tropes and captures what it's like to be indisputably an adult (Donna is years out of college), but debatably mature (she can barely make her rent).

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 6, 2014
  • On DVD or streaming: October 7, 2014
  • Cast: Jenny Slate , Jake Lacy
  • Director: Gillian Robespierre
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 83 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language and sexual content
  • Last updated: July 21, 2023

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