Thengos footage from the short film of the same name by Gillian Robespierre, OBVIOUS CHILD is the sixth film in competition in the Champs-Elysées Film Festival. Small jewellery full of cynicism, sarcasm and, ultimately, truths, the first film by Gillian Robespierre is a true wonder as we unfortunately see too little. If the subject is hard (the abortion of a young woman who has just dumped), it is treated with seriousness and lightness at the same time. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, one would almost think that abortion is cool. Or at least, that this is not as sad as it sounds ! Explanations.
Donna Stern (Jenny Slater, HOUSE OF LIES) is a young bookseller who regularly does stand-up in a bar. Rather funny, in that it has a day, the “bad” idea to tell the sexual problems she encounters with her boyfriend, unfortunately present in the room. Could not bear it no longer, he breaks up with her, revealing that he slept with one of his best friends. Therefore, the small life of Donna will turn into a nightmare. The bookstore in which she works is going to be closed, leaving them without work. His father goes very bad morale after his break and his mother is only set before its money problems. His ex is more than well-installed with the famous girlfriend Donna. His small sketches are no longer laughing. And as if that wasn’t enough, after having spent the night with a charming young man, Max (Jake Lacy, THE OFFICE), she became pregnant ! You will agree that it has everything a good VDM. However, Donna can count on the support of his two very good friends, Nellie (Gaby Hoffmann, GIRLS) and Joey (Gabe Liedman, BROOKLYN 99). Thanks to them, it will slowly climb back up the slope, take the necessary decision and attempt to grow.
About always a bit of a taboo, abortion is never praised or judged in OBVIOUS CHILD. If the director and screenwriter never takes part, it is for a good reason : every case is different and every woman who opts for abortion has her reasons. Because of this, the film shows the journey of a girl that one could perceive as banal and who finds herself, against her will, forced to make a decision that has its importance. To avoid falling into the simple drama of television, Gillian Robespierre has had the good idea to get his message across through humour. For this, the comedian Jenny Slater is perfect. Without ever making fun of his subject or make it worse, the writer manages to make us laugh throughout his film, to make us sympathize with the misfortunes of Donna. Young girl in the neuroses exposed, she constantly uses humor to protect themselves, to prevent from falling – and us -in order to relativize. By putting it in situations that are implausible and even a bit dreary, Gillian Robespierre creates a work absolutely unique and wonderful.
“It’s funny, it’s fresh, it’s great !”
As a story that has a beginning and an end, OBVIOUS CHILD begins with Donna being dumped and ends after she has an abortion. Another smart idea, Gillian Robespierre has opted for an open ending, that everyone can interpret in his own way. Thus, if all the problems Gave are not settled at the end of the film, we can leave knowing that his situation is much less complicated than at the beginning of the film, or to the environment. What’s more, with Max in his life, it is difficult to see how the things could not go. Together, they form a couple, absolutely adorable. Because it is incredibly weird. Because it is as nice as it looks. Because they have nothing to do together. Because the beginnings of their relationship were really chaotic. With its cutting intelligent, his great, his dialogues to die of laughter, his beautiful photography and his music well-mixed, OBVIOUS CHILD is a comedy beyond the sympathetic and far from being yet another “romcom” (understand “a romantic comedy”) just for the girls. It’s funny, it’s fresh, it’s great !
The champs-Elysées Film Festival 2014• Original title : Obvious Child
• Achievement : Gillian Robespierre
• Screenplay : Gillian Robespierre
• Main actors : Jenny Slater, Jake, Lucy, Gabe Liedman, Gaby Hoffmann
• Country of origin : United States
• Released : SEPTEMBER 3, 2014
• Duration : 1h23mn
• Distributor : Paradise Films
• Synopsis : What happens when the comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and discovers that she is pregnant just in time for the worst/best Valentine’s day of her life ?