Obvious Child centers on Donna Stern, played by Jenny Slate, an aspiring stand-up comic in her late 20s who’s out of her depth in the grown-up world. After getting smashed and having unprotected sex with a guy she barely knows, Donna discovers she’s pregnant and decides to have an abortion.
Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews:
Donna feels so real she could be sitting next to you in the theater. Jenny Slate can be seen opposite Nick Kroll in drag on the Kroll Show in a weekly reality-TV send-up called Publizity about two jittery L.A. publicists named Liz. She’s even more famous for blowing her Saturday Night Live debut several years ago by blurting the f-word on live TV. I found that rather endearing and hoped Slate would get her own show. She didn’t—she barely lasted out the year. But what I love about her in Obvious Child is that sense of danger she brings. She’s all frizzy little coils of neurotic energy. Anything could pop out of her mouth.
That fits a character who has no self-control. She’s a big baby, someone who can’t take care of herself, let alone a little baby. Director Gillian Robespierre lets you take Donna as you will. Robespierre has the courage of her ambivalence. The best thing about Obvious Child is that there’s nothing obvious about it.