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Year of Revisiting #10 – Obvious Child

“Did you just warm this butter up for me?”

“That’s just what you do.”

After a break of not watching much of anything, I queued up Obvious Child the other night. I hadn’t seen it since the theater showing two years ago, when a friend and I went on a Wednesday, I think. (Going to the movies on a school night makes me feel transgressive and cool.) I remember her knitting throughout, which was pretty impressive considering the darkness, and the two of us laughing at the jokes, often ribald and crude.

Oh, how endearing I find this movie. Honest and irreverent, Donna (Jenny Slate) has an offbeat and dark sense of humor that infuses nearly every scene, from her breakup in a bar’s disgusting bathroom to her post-abortion recovery on her (soon-to-be?) boyfriend’s couch. Sometimes she’s self-centered and jerky, but Obvious Child is one of those films, thankfully increasing in number, in which the women aren’t existing to provide some plotting/interest/opportunity for growth/whatever for men. I was glad to see her be a jerk and not have to suffer horribly for it and/or be rescued by a man. Donna got a happy ending and she got Max (Jake Lacy), and while those two were entwined, one wasn’t dependent on the other.

Max, sweet and understanding from the beginning, and especially when Donna is vulnerable, is a nice change from selfish bro after selfish bro, in movie after movie, being made good by a woman’s sacrificing love. I enjoy a reforming-bad-boy tale as much as anything else, but the story world is saturated with them. The awkward cuteness of the two leads in Obvious Child needs no reforming. The final scene, when they begin watching Gone with the Wind, makes my heart soar.




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