November 4, 2014

Obvious Child

Gillian Robespierre, 2014
Broken hearted from a recent break-up, stand-up Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) finds herself in a vulnerable state when she meets smart grad-student Max (Jake Lacy) after one of her shows. Their drunken night ends with her being pregnant, confused, and trying to figure out how to handle the situation after already having trouble managing her current life.

Some people might remember Jenny Slate from her short-lived Saturday Night Live days in 2009 and 2010. You will probably remember that they weren’t actually all that memorable. She failed to ever really make an impression there. It’s quite apparent now that Saturday Night Live wasn't the appropriate comedic vessel for Slate. She has appeared on various television series since, but has really resurfaced in the quite-good comedy FX series Married. In that particular series she plays Jess, best friend to main character Russ. She is married to an older man, played by Paul Reiser. And she’s really great there. Unrestrained and honest, unfiltered. In Obvious Child, she brings a similar energy to her Donna character but elevates it and ultimately appears to be more comfortable. Perhaps the self-deprecating Jewish 30-something living in New York City is a more accurate version of the real Jenny Slate? Very loose on stage in the small club, quick to make fun of herself. Funny, edgy, interesting. Constantly drinking too much, not really taking much of anything in her life seriously while many people her age are probably taking things too seriously. She’s not even remotely prepared to handle something as extreme as pregnancy, let alone motherhood. She takes her issues to the stage, regardless of how personal they may be. At times it comes off as pure comedy, other times it’s pure performance art. Obvious Child rattles the foundation of the conventional Hollywood rom-com with great writing and performances, challenges some cultural taboos and creates something more realistic and fresh, almost like an Anti-Knocked Up.

No comments:

Post a Comment