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Obvious Child

“Raunchy humor laced with gradually revealed vulnerability makes for a winning combination in Obvious Child, a wildly funny and appealing female-centric comedy. This sharp-witted, fast-talking feature from first-time writer-director Gillian Robespierre centers on a stand-up comedian whose uncensored accounts of her private life serve her well until she is broadsided by an unplanned pregnancy.

“At the center of everything is 28-year-old Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), a good-looking stream-of-consciousness potty-mouth who suggests a less smart-alecky, more confessional Sarah Silverman. The hilarious routine she performs in the opening scene before an appreciative audience becomes an instant memory when her boyfriend informs her that they're done.

“Thrown for a loop, Donna gets wasted and seeks solace with her best friend, Nellie (Gaby Hoffmann, who is aces) and her divorced parents. Her next gig is a morose, self-pitying disaster, which leads to more drinking and a night of riotous, reckless sex with a good-looking straight-arrow from Vermont named Max (Jake Lacy).

“Despite her downbeat mood, everything is grist for Donna's comic mill. As Nellie observes, what's great about Donna, both onstage and in life, is that she is unapologetically herself at all times, and this makes her terrific company for the viewer as well. One could imagine that she might be exhausting at times and hard to keep up with, but she's never dull.

“Three weeks after her one-night stand, however, she learns that, no doubt about it, she's pregnant. It's no surprise that an abortion is her instant answer to the problem, but she's got to wait a bit and in the interim her fuller personality blossoms. She quizzes her girlfriends and mother about her situation, riffs about it honestly at the comedy club, to a warm response, but just can't bring herself to tell Max, a good-hearted soul who understandably can't quite make sense of Donna's erratic behavior toward him.

“In other hands, the film's second half could have become too serious, sentimental or agenda-charged, but Robespierre always keeps authentic emotion and brainy humor in the forefront. Her irrepressibly bawdy take on life notwithstanding, Donna has a good soul underneath it all, which provides the film with a constant and agreeable glow. A real live-wire, Slate is terrific.” -  The Hollywood Reporter

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