Jenny Slate the obvious leading woman for Obvious Child | Film

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Ever since I saw her as Mona Lisa Saperstein (aka, the WoOoOoOoOorst) on my favourite TV show, Parks & Recreation, I have loved Jenny Slate. She is just so chill and snappy and I don't know what else to say other than LOVE. So when I saw her new film Obvious Child was on Netflix, I immediately dropped everything and watched it. And it's fantastic.

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child is the story of Donna Stern (Slate), a stand-up comedian trying to figure out life (as we all are) in New York City (ok, maybe not all) after being dumped by her boyfriend. The second hand bookstore she is working at is scheduled to close, and in effect her income will soon cease. So life seems to be pretty much going downhill. Then Matt comes along.

Seems like your typical rom-com, right? But what is special about this film is that it is subversive, raw and hilarious in the way that has become so successful with the TV show Girls and Broad City. Slate, and the film, is 100% honest and unapologetic about what it's like to be a woman, and she, like the characters on Girls or Broad City, are relatable. Even to me, a 19 year old, can relate to Donna's late-20's struggles of money, careers and pursuing your dreams, meeting a nice guy and not knowing what to do with yourself.

This is no idealised manic-pixie-dream-girl in fairytale New York. It's real, flawed, multifaceted and accurate. Word up. What is most beautiful about this sort of content is it demonstrates that women are funny. And successfully so. The amount of pioneering unapologetic comedic women in prominence at the moment is wonderful. Of course, they have always been around.

Women being funny isn't a new thing. Not even sitcoms directed or produced by women. Let's not forget the incorruptible Lucille Ball, who, when industry execs told her no, funded I Love Lucy all on her own, on her own terms. Can I get a hell yeah?

Obvious Child, while being "subversive" in the fact that women are being women (the horror!) it is not cringeworthy. This is because the film is written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. This is a female, telling the female story, for other females. Which is why women directors are so important. Men often cannot accurately portray the female story, and instead alienates us. This film, however, does not. Because it’s our story. Especially when the opening dialogue is Donna doing a standup set, talking about white marks on our underwear (because men are never going to talk about that, but we all know and live it). So thank you Gillian, for giving us a story we can relate to.

Overall, a delightful film, and definitely a must for fans of the modern comedienne.


By Claire. 

Obvious Child is available on Netflix / Cause a Cine do not own any image nor the trailer used in this post.
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