Everything Will Be OK
Review of Obvious Child at SIFF by Kali Swenson
Joining the ranks of Girls, Broad City, and Frances Ha, Obvious Child is humorous take on young life’s tragedies. The plight of the 20-something female has become a genre unto itself, and Obvious Child exemplifies this oeuvre. The film is a lighthearted, hilarious depiction of the heartbreak, job changes, and personal growth punctuating that rollercoaster of a decade.
Obvious Child is a feel-good comedy not just in its humor, but in that the plot can certainly make one feel better about the situations of their own life. Though it must be obvious that such “tragedies” should be taken with a grain of salt, this genre is popular because the depiction of 20-something crises feels all too real for many (Trust me; I’m 22.), and it’s a relief to see others similarly struggling and still coming out OK on the other end.
Donna, played by Jenny Slate, handles being cheated on, getting broken up with, losing her job, and becoming pregnant after a drunken one-night stand as well as could be expected of anyone in her situation. Her reactions are hilarious to watch, even if they’re not that funny to her.
Jenny Slate, who’s previously only been seen in smaller — but none the less funny — parts, holds her own in this feature film. Slate makes this film what it is, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Donna. She’s a strong female lead who defies feminine stereotypes (She’s a comedian who talks about everything and has no problem with bodily functions and fluids, even burping on stage during her stand-up routine.) while still being a wholeheartedly relatable woman.
Obvious Child does the 20-something genre justice. It’s slightly less awkward and its trajectory a lot more romantic-comedy-plotline predictable than its peers, so it’s a good entry point for those who don’t already know what it’s like to be a lady in her 20s.
As expected, everything turns outs to be not that big of a deal in the end for Donna. Here’s to hoping the same can be said for my own tumultuous 20-something life.
Screenings: May 20 and 21
Seattle International Film Festival