Sundance 2014: Obvious Child




This was the 'obvious' winner of Sundance Film Festival for me (sorry), the icing on the cake of what was a great weekend of independent cinema, celebrating the work of filmmakers old and new (with some very big names tagged on the bill, and subsequently strolling around various parts of the o2- thanks sundance!)

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), aspiring comedienne in Brooklyn, is someone we can identify with from the off.  After an incredibly funny set which pokes fun at her dysfunctional (but very normal) relationship with her boyfriend, she gets off stage in a haze of approving applause from the hip crowd, only to be ceremoniously dumped by said boyfriend, who has already moved in with his new girl and their dog.  In the "breakup misery" montage that follows, Donna shows herself to be the every girl- the messy, dysfunctional but emphatic girl we all know somewhere in our social circle, if not in ourselves.

At her next gig, Donna drowns her sorrows and embarks on a suprising and seemingly innocent one night stand with the very cute and straight-laced Max (Jake Lacy, welcome back son), only to find herself pregnant by Valentines Day.  Her life, previously shambolic but at least coherent, starts to unravel as she faces an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy and a suprising new suitor in the charming Max.

The film deals with the issue of the unwanted pregnancy in a refreshing way that plants itself firmly into modern day society. It doesn't start to lose it's poignancy when it rejects the Hollywood ending that looms over the movie, threatening to disintegrate its charming honesty.  Donna speaks from the heart, makes mistakes and learns that it isn't facing the future on her own that scares her, but accepting love - even in the most unconventional of circumstances.


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