One of the breakout hits from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a film that has romance, yes, and is definitely a comedy, but perhaps not exactly a typical rom-com. At least, nothing you’ve probably seen starring Kate Hudson and a nondescript white bachelor suitor probably involves a plotline centered upon abortion. As it turns out, Obvious Child maybe just isn’t that obvious of a choice.
The film, directed by Gillian Robespierre, focuses on a down on her luck comedian named Donna, played by real life comedian and former Saturday Night Live member Jenny Slate. After a particularly heinous breakup, Donna downspirals, losing her job and sending her already shaking existence as an unambitious twenty-something into overdrive. Even something good, like a silly one night stand with a new guy who seems to share her proclivities for farts and fun, leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.
The first trailer for the film paints Donna as an all-too relatable and sympathetic character for those in their twenties, or maybe just struggling comedians in general. Sluggish and moody, she’s not flopping around without a purpose on purpose, but as her mother points out, she’s always going to be going through something — this post-dumpage, current baby situation is just one of many pleasant experiences to look forward to as an adult. Channeling your miserable existence into laughter is supposed to be the tenant of standup comedy, right? So it’s an even bigger slap in the face to Donna that she’s not able to make this work out for her.
Despite this bitter picture painted, the trailer highlights the humor inherent in her world, as she attempts to figure out what to do with said pregnancy, and what to tell the father, the aforementioned fart-lover (Jake Lacy, The Office) about her decision; and if we’re going to speculate, she’ll have to deal with her feelings for this new guy in the process too, right? It’s somewhat of a groundbreaking thing to see a film, especially a romcom, deal with abortion in such a matter-of-fact, positive way. It’s about time that this started being the norm, and not news.
And hey! We got a shoutout in the trailer, with a quote from our own Kate Erbland’s Sundance review featured prominently in hot pink: “the submersive rom-com you’ve been wanting.”
Check out the trailer below:
With a supporting cast from Gabby Hoffman, David Cross, Gabe Liedman and Richard Kind, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a cool and calculated hit. And if not, Slate can always go back to Parks and Recreation to continue her reign of terror as Mona Lisa Saperstein. That’s okay too.
Obvious Child is in theaters June 6th.