‘What I Want to Do’
Hailed as an ‘abortion comedy,’ ‘Obvious Child’ isn’t about politics—it’s about a woman’s struggle with herself as a person. This wouldn’t work without the kind humor of Jenny Slate.
Funny, touching, and bracingly honest, Obvious Child is the story of Donna, a struggling stand-up comic who is dumped by her boyfriend, has a one-night stand with a much nicer guy (not at all her type), and gets an abortion. That makes Jenny Slate, who plays the heroine, the face of the “abortion comedy,” as the film came to be known after its premiere at Sundance.
“I get why people do it,” Slate tells me of that label, but “I don’t think of our movie as an abortion comedy at all. It puts me off a bit just because it seems flippant, it seems like we’re being rough with the subject, when if you watch the movie it’s anything but rough with it, it’s strong and it’s gentle. But I’m happy to be the face of the movie no matter what people call it.”