Obvious Child Movie Poster Image

Obvious Child

(i)

 

Smart, irreverent, edgy romcom about complex choices.
  • Review Date: June 6, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

When you find yourself in a bind, trust yourself to figure out what to do, and reach out to others when you need help. If you make a mistake, accept that there are consequences, and deal with them.

Positive role models

Donna may sometimes appear insensitive, but she uses humor to mask her fears. Although she makes some mistakes (like having a drunken one-night stand without protection), she's also committed to her art, loves and respects her parents (and vice versa), and appreciates her friends. Her parents may sometimes push her to be ambitious but are supportive overall. Max is a sweetheart through and through. There's no villainizing of either gender, here.

Violence

Some yelling and screaming.

Sex

Lots of raunchy talk about body parts and sex (mostly jokes), and some kissing and making out in underwear, but no nudity. The fall-out of an unexpected pregnancy (after unsafe sex) is at the heart of the movie.

Language

Very frequent use of every swear word in the book, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "p---y," "c--t," and more.

Consumerism

Some logos seen, mainly an Apple computer and iPhone. Some brands are also mentioned, including Kia, Eileen Fisher, and Tylenol PM.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking in bars, with one scene showing a woman, who's upset at having been dumped, downing shots and swigging liquor from an open bottle. A major plot point develops because the characters get so inebriated that they have unprotected sex.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Obvious Child is a compassionate, unconventional, and very funny indie dramedy about a twentysomething woman who must make a complicated decision after a break up and subsequent hook-up brings her to a crossroads. The film uses humor to explore mature themes, including unexpected pregnancy, modern-day romantic entanglements, and unemployment. Characters swear constantly (including the "f--k," "s--t," and much more) and drink, sometimes to the point of inebriation. There's no outright nudity, but expect plenty of frank talk and jokes about sex.

What's the story?

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is a talented twentysomething stand-up comedian whose precariously balanced life turns even wobblier when her boyfriend dumps her. The next few weeks are lost in a depressing, sometimes alcohol-fueled stupor, occasionally interrupted by stints at the beloved bookstore where she works (but whose owner has just announced that it's closing) and visits with her parents -- a business school professor (Polly Draper) and puppeteer (Richard Kind) -- who are worried about her future. But Donna's too busy trying to get over her ex to fret about where her life is going long-term. One night after a gig, she meets Max (Jake Lacy), a cute, kind, and un-hip graduate student. They get along famously, end up getting drunk together and falling into bed -- with results that complicate Donna's already crazy life even further.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Obvious Child's messages. Do you think it's trying to persuade viewers to feel one way or the other about Donna's decision? Is it OK for a movie to be subjective about social issues?

  • Movies sometimes use humor to tackle difficult subjects. In what way does this film do so, and is it successful?

  • How does the movie handle Donna's struggle to arrive at a decision? Is she a relatable character?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 6, 2014
DVD release date:October 7, 2014
Cast:Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy
Director:Gillian Robespierre
Studio:A24
Genre:Comedy
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sexual content

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah June 29, 2014

Refreshing, funny, sad, and sweet.

Much like Bridesmaids and Frances Ha, this movie revels in its female-centric humor and self-confidence. It's funny, sweet, and kind, mostly due to Jenny Slate and her terrific ability to capture nuance, humor, emotion, and reality. The movie itself is nice and respectful of its characters, and thanks to sensitive direction and performances, it's actually very touching. I found myself tearing up at bits, which shows how well this film can replicate real life. The actors work well together and the script is solid and refreshing, but each person is given ample room to showcase their talents. Jenny Slate really does carry this movie; she's so lovable and funny and can be sad and neurotic without crossing into annoying territory. Jake Lacy, who I've only seen in The Office, does a good job as well. Even though the film is touching, it could have been a bit longer; it's only 83 minutes which kind of reminds you that this was originally a short film. However, it is an accomplishment that the lowbrow humor doesn't come off as obnoxious or angering, which is something that very easily pisses me off. 8.7/10, great, two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byGardengrl May 16, 2015

Just sad

This movie was a huge disappointment. The main character gets dumped, has a one night stand and then decides upon an abortion. The jokes in the movie are really a pathetic attempt at humor. I didn't laugh once. It was mostly just awkward and sad. The main character is a good actress but the writing is terrible and the entire plot could have been better handled as a drama. As a comedy it was a complete flop. The themes of the movie are farts, anal sex, and abortion. Waste of my time.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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