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Film / Obvious Child

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Obvious Child is a 2014 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Gillian Robespierre (based on her 2009 short film of the same name, co-written with Anna Bean and Karen Maine) in her feature directorial debut, starring Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, and David Cross.

The film follows Donna Stern (Slate), a stand-up comedian who, after a drunken one-night stand, finds out she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion.


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Obvious Tropes:

  • But We Used a Condom!: Averted, sort of.
    Donna: I remember seeing a condom; I just don't know exactly what it did.
  • Genre Blindness: On romantic comedies:
    Donna: I just hate that type of film. I don't connect to it.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Donna decides almost immediately to have an abortion, and follows through, with little anxiety about the actual procedure. Her mother and roommate Nellie both have had an abortion in the past.
  • Fan Disservice: David Cross wearing a tight women's blouse.
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  • Idealized Sex: Played with. Initially, Donna and Max's encounter is a little idealized, but when Donna flashes back weeks later, they are shown awkwardly fumbling with clothing and making multiple unsuccessful attempts to open a condom.
    Donna: I can't get your blouse off!
  • Introduction by Hookup: Donna and Max. Max later visits the bookstore where Donna works and turns out to be one of her mother's students.
  • I Want Grandkids: An interesting example in that it's an off-hand comment made by 20-something Jake, who doesn't even have kids yet.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Donna hides her pregnancy from Max, mostly because she doesn't know how to tell him.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The poster hails it as "the most winning abortion-themed rom-com ever made."
  • Title Drop: Donna and Max dance to "The Obvious Child" by Paul Simon before sleeping together. The song plays again over the end credits.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Done deliberately. There's no mystery as to whether Donna will go through with the abortion.

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