At first glance, Gillian Robespierre’s feature-length independent comedy might seem like another “first-world-problem”/bourgeois New York City drama about the general malaise hitting affluent members of the young artistic community.
However, when we delve more deeply into the first official trailer for Obvious Child, the genuine heart and sense of humor that emanates from lead actress Jenny Slate completely transforms a glib premise into a smart, thoughtful study of tragicomic modern human relationships in impersonal urban environments.
Considered a break-out film at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival (followed by a lively showing at last month’s SXSW), Obvious Child is out in select theaters on June 6, 2014.
Why we like it: Jenny Slate as Donna Stern is willing to forgo dignity in order to craft a great character. Her unapologetic and sometimes crudely sexual stand-up is a refreshing divergence from the standard lovelorn wallflowers of most romantic comedies. Obvious Child also definitely passes the Bechdel Test (Is there more than one female character? Do they talk to one another? About something other than a man?) without ignoring the universal human need for sexual love and acceptance.
Why we don’t: Sometimes it can be difficult to take films seriously when they portray successful, affluent caucasians in Manhattan who can’t “find” themselves or make their superficial romantic relationships work. At a time when our global economy is in the dumps and 80 percent of the U.S. population is struggling financially, characters of the patently insufferable Lena Dunham-variety (Tiny Furniture seems like a clear antecedent to Obvious Child) can make some audiences want to pull their hair out. Hopefully, Obvious Child‘s writing and Slate’s performance are more down to earth and accessible to viewers that love seeing funny female leads in witty storylines.
Check out the trailer: