There are very few opportunities in feature films for female actors to play lead roles. Last year, there were some great films who had an actress as the main protagonist. These included Ida, Violette, Two Days, One Night, Under the Skin and, of course, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Female comedians are also gradually beginning to get the respect they deserve. In Obvious Child, Jenny Slate plays a stand-up comedian who is struggling at life.
Donna Stern (Slate) is having a bad week. After being dumped by her boyfriend, she then loses her job. Donna isn’t good with honesty, responsibility or adult life in general. Whilst drowning her sorrows she meets clean-living Max (Jake Lacy). After they have a one-night stand, Donna discovers that she’s pregnant. As a rule, she does everything to ignore her commitments, using stand-up as an outlet. Now she has to face up to reality and learn a valuable lesson in life.
Obvious Child is a breath of fresh air. Gillian Robespierre has created a film which is funny, touching, engaging and highly entertaining. The glue that holds everything together is a scintillating performance from Jenny Slate. Despite Donna’s recklessness and self-destructive tendencies, you find yourself really empathising and identifying with her. There’s also some great supporting turns from David Cross, Gabe Liedman and Richard Kind. With a great script and clever direction, Obvious Child is a treat which slipped by many on its theatrical release. Finally, a romantic comedy which feels authentic.
Obvious Child is released on DVD by Koch Media on January 19.