• Studio: A24
  • Release Date: Jun 6, 2014
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 6 out of 26

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  1. Jun 7, 2014
    9
    Fantastic movie. Jenny Slate is going to be a huge star. She's funny as hell, but not in an obnoxious way. Entirely sympathetic in her approach. And immensely likable. The story is a classic choice for a good modern comedian. It's handled with care and a degree of class, yet it's riddled with very funny low-brow humor. Great supporting cast with Cross and Hoffman. See it.
  2. Jul 1, 2014
    4
    I'm not a fan of "Girls" and I’m not a fan of the lead character in this movie (played by Jenny Slate). She seems to inhabit the same mundane world from the HBO series, but her character makes it less appealing: she's a comedian who's not funny and a whiny, wimpy woman who's not sympathetic. Many aspects of her life start to crumble, when she meets a sweet man who changes things (and he's the only bright spot). When you don't care about the self-destructive, self-indulgent pivotal character and don't find her humor amusing, there's not much to like. Expand
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    6
    One of the many ingredients that so many romantic-comedies are missing today is the element of truth: truth in the dialogue, truth in its characters and truth in the scenarios the characters are put in. If there is one thing that is obvious about Gillian Robespierre debut feature film Obvious Child, it is that the truth be the guiding light for characters in the film and the film itself.

    Obvious Child could best be described as the anti-romantic-comedy, yet, its roots are very much brooding in the realm of the girl-centric, highly profitable genre. Yet, there is nothing highly alluring to Robespierre’s truthfully crude comedy where a young comedienne shares the embarrassing exploits of her life, her bowel movements, her crusty underwear and her insecurities as a young twenty-something living in a desolate, hipster filled New York City.

    Jenny Slate, whom I only know from the HBO show House of Lies, plays the twenty-something young comedienne. Slate wouldn’t seem to fit the role by simply reading the script, but from page-to screen, Slate does a surprisingly great job as a young, lost independent, creatively misunderstood soul unleashing herself to the world and the loved ones around her.

    The beginning of Donna Stern’s (Slate) problems begin with her smelly, cheating boyfriend Ryan (Paul Briganti) dumping her and also admitting to her that he has been cheating on her with her best friend. Donna, who reacts almost like anyone else would, consuming a crap load of alcohol, moaning to friends and family and being miserable in any way possible, cinematically makes the break-up a lot more dramatic that it needs to be, especially since the foundation of Ryan and Donna’s relationship is never seen or bonded with its audience. The break-up scene is literally the second scene in the film, so we don’t empathize much with Donna. Sure enough, what’s the best way to mend a broken heart? Sex! And what better way to get back with your ex than to hook up with Max (Jake Lacy), the most straight laced, squared-jaw guy anyone would find at a scuzzy bar in Brooklyn. Robespierre’s dialogue does tread the line between originally inventive and subliminally juvenile, as the two’s meet-cute begins by noticing each others “pee pee missiles”, but hey, someone must have liked that line. Like any good drunken, dumped sex scheme, things don’t necessarily go to plan, and a few weeks later, Donna’s discomforting boobs lead to a pregnancy test with positive results. Perhaps not so positive for Donna.

    Abortion comedies are a very sensitive topic for me, seeing that one of my favourite comedies of all time, Knocked Up, dealt with the topic and the disastrous results of unwanted, drunken hook-ups. Although the film was funded and aided with the help of a big studio, the film dealt with the realities of people trying to make things work, when things aren’t obviously working around them. The beauty about a film like Obvious Child is that such a small, indie film never gets the pressures of big studio execs breathing down their throat, therefore, the film is able to venture off into very crude and appallingly real, taboo territory of female sexuality, cleanliness and comedy.

    For the most part, Slate is excellent as Donna, a character whose journey of self-discovery and female empowerment begins the moment she gets up on the stage. One of the most obviously enjoyable parts of the film are Donna’s stints of comedy on-stage. Her truthful, almost confessional type comedy is the basis of Robespierre’s feature success, and brings up some of the most laughs for its audiences. It was a nice touch to see a new director handle stand-up comedy scenes gracefully and adequately edit them into the troubled world of a young girl who knows nothing about life. Donna’s best stand-up scene is when she confronts the revelations of that fateful night, which turns into a therapeutic lapse into the epic non-prophylactic judgement of two people and the issues they must face or would face for the rest of their lives.

    Donna’s life is the basis of her comedy, and although her life is nothing to really roll on the ground, dying of laughter, her take on the realities of everyday life allow for the film to take small, hysterical turns for a relatable brand of female humour. Women all over the theatre were unable to contain their laughter. But although the film barely runs ninety minutes, one cannot help but notice how much the use of awkward silence and awkwardness accounts for the comedy, which at times took me away from the film. I am no fan or avid-watcher of Lena Dunham’s Girls, but if a feature film of the popular HBO series were to be made into a movie, I am pretty sure it would look something similar to Obvious Child.
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  4. Jun 11, 2014
    9
    Jenny Slate is a revelation. I can't wait to see what she does next. This movie's topic may rile some moviegoers but it really shouldn't. I'm surprised that more standup comedians don't venture out to do this sort of movie more often. Come to think of it I would love to see Louis CK do this type of movie even though his TV show is essentially that.
  5. Jun 14, 2014
    5
    A fine showcase for the standup comedy of Jenny Slate and an entertaining vehicle for a cast of colorful supporting characters -- but not much else. The thin, unimpressive script always feels like it's leading somewhere but never arrives at a recognizable destination. Watch the trailer, and you'll pretty much see what this underwhelming offering is all about.
  6. Jul 9, 2014
    1
    just bad. unless yogurt underwear and farts are your thing. 27 and makes 0 money living in NY for 5 years and whining. then working hard on her act(again for 0 money) to what end? oh i'm so quirky, i say disgusting things at the wrong moment, oh i'm so cool. casting couldn't be more stereotypical. lets see how can we make her even more jewish and him even more whitebread - or for her friend, gay. there are so many parts that make no sense but why spoil it - if you don't have air conditioning then by all means go, bring earplugs and a pillow. its a happy abortion commercial. Expand
  7. Jun 12, 2014
    9
    Wow. So honest. So funny. I'm so glad I saw it. Not like any rom com I've ever seen (including indies). Jenny Slate is a great great talent. The rest of the cast is perfect. I hope lots of people get to see it.
  8. Jun 19, 2014
    9
    Such a real and honest movie! Loved that they made normal the issue of abortion, which actually does happen to one third of women, so it's about time it got dealt with as ordinary. Lots of humor and love, what could be better?
  9. Sep 22, 2014
    7
    Through the eyes of Obvious Child, Jenny Slate reveals herself as a dominating force in comedy as well as meaningful drama. There are ideas and moments--just like life.
  10. Jul 14, 2014
    2
    If you find stepping into dog turds or public farting automatically funny, this is your movie. Jenny Slade is not a bad actress, but her standup stuff is pathetically bad---Lenny Bruce without teeth trying to be ingratiating. The abortion at the end was heartening--this character should not reproduce.
  11. Oct 11, 2014
    3
    i really wanted to like this. i liked parts of it. the trope of the brooklyn almost-30-person-who's-still-a-child is played out. everything that donna had to say was clever and funny, but, really, who talks like that all the time? and, of course, she doesn't have anything resembling a real job. the ultimate goy boyfriend was annoying. as were the coincidences. worth watching for jenny slate. hope she graduates to a better role next time. Expand
  12. Oct 8, 2014
    7
    I can respect a film that shows what everyday life is like when sometimes the unexpected happens. Yes as someone who considers himself pro life I still get that the decision is a hard one to make which this film makes you feel. B
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Frankl
    Sep 22, 2014
    80
    This is a film of ideas, but it's a comedy first, and its boldness is that it doesn't aim to address a pro-choice or pro-life stance - it's about Donna just getting on with it all the same.
  2. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Aug 25, 2014
    80
    Sharp, funny and feeling, this isn't just Juno-meets-Girls but a smart film that tackles real-life issues with rare frankness.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 27, 2014
    60
    Not all of the stand-up scenes in Obvious Child are quite as funny. At least one is meant to be bad. Another is meant to be poignant but just ends up coming off as a touch weird and emotionally false.