Parents' Guide to

Unpregnant

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

BFF road movie tackles abortion; language, sex.

Movie PG-13 2022 104 minutes
Unpregnant Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

A product of its time.

A thought-provoking buddy-teen-road-trip-comedy weighed down by political commentary and hyperbolic stereotypes. But, the questions it asks... are fair. What does consent mean? Why can a teen consent to sex or parenthood without a guardian, but not to an abortion? What is or should be the government's role in protecting unborn life? How has the faith (Christian) community represented itself to women in crisis, and what could we be doing better? These are complicated questions, with no easy answers, and they are pointed at, rather comically and sometimes tenderly, by this romping film starring two friends on a journey to procure an abortion, two states over, after a prophylactic mishap. From the creepy "pro-life at any cost" suburban couple to the cool, laid-back LGBT characters, the movie leans heavily into stereotypes without offering any helpful nuance or look into character's motivations. It tries to be gentle and sincere during the time in the abortion clinic, while immediately outside showing a salivating crowd of West Borough Baptist congregants forming a gauntlet any woman would have to pass through (luckily, our protagonists are protected by their Rambo-esque limo driver). Inside the clinic, everyone is gentle, encouraging, compassionate, and brave. And it all leads to the question of how on earth have conservatives in general and Christians in particular made themselves heard on this message in recent years? Is protesting (if it happens) really helping? Something I will talk to my son about in coming years is the action of the teenage boyfriend character, who knowingly conceals a broken condom. At best he has taken her right to consent, and at worst has committed a form of assault. But responsibility, and the taking of it, is something that weighs heavily on this movie. What is a parent's responsility to their child (a question explored at least four different times in the film)? What is a sexual partner's responsility to their opposite? What is a person's responsibility to their friends (ex friends?), or even to themselves? To their conscience? What I did find enjoyable and on-point was the film's disdain of social media and the façade thrown up by so many instead of brokering in honesty, regardless of consequence. I think the point made about helping strangers, even at cost to yourself, goes a long way. It is just sad that the helpful people are all cast as decidedly left-of-center in belief, where every last consertive or believer is labelled as a weirdo or misanthrope, with the exception of the aborting teen's mother, who, while she will never understand her daughter's choice, will always love her. And there is much truth to be found there. And these are questions that need to be asked, and need to be answered. If nothing else, this film provides a window for parents and middle-older teens to look through in order to find those right questions to ask.
age 16+

Surprising

This film depicts a young woman’s predicament of teen pregnancy with candor. It feels very true to my remembrance of teen self-centeredness and aversion to be a mother. What surprised me was its unapologetic approach to the topic. No hand-wringing or guilt, just planned determination to be unpregnant. This felt very challenging to me as an older woman who grew up with shame entering adulthood about sex and contraception. I knew abortion needed to be safe and legal but thought it embarrassing, private, tormented, not to be spoken of. I feel freed and better informed by how sensitively and factually the clinical process is explained at the end of this crazy-funny yet serious story.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (12 ):

An energetic BFF road movie with pro-choice and feminist messages, this movie relies on some high school stereotypes and gender clichés, mostly about boys, but manages to resist predictability. Unpregnant lands a lot of laughs in the banter between Veronica and Bailey and their misadventures on the road, and the two lead actresses do a great job playing opposites with a convincingly shared history and a deep mutual affection. Both actresses credibly transition between comedy and drama throughout the film. Unpregnant is no Thelma and Louise, but a key car-over-a-cliff scene references the classic, as does the American Southwest setting, complete with wide-open spaces, long, straight roads, and dusty small towns populated by cowboys, county fairs, and conspiracy theorists.

This film aims for a much more upbeat tone than that classic, though there are some strong political messages here. The clinical, step-by-step description of an abortion procedure at the film's end aims to demystify the process. A pro-choice monologue laments the fact (and the film's premise) that a 17-year-old girl in present-day America should have to travel across several state lines to get an abortion on request without parental consent. That message, like two intense "pro-life" characters, a Mike and Karen Pence joke, and a coming-out plot twist, could turn some audiences off. It's more likely that the politics, the humor, and the generally youthful mood will all speak directly to this film's target audience.

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