The romantic comedy is a genre that has earned a reputation as fluffy and unrealistic but Gillian Robespierre’s latest film, Obvious Child, is neither while still leaving its audience smitten. Jenny Slate is brilliant as Donna Stern, a slightly bumbling but charming bookstore employee by day, stand-up comedian by night. After discovering her boyfriend has been sleeping with a mutual friend, Donna’s life begins to spiral leading to a cringe-worthy scene of Donna attempting drunken stand-up.
As fate would have it, Donna meets Max(Jake Lacey) a seemingly straight laced business major and they end up spending a night together. What follows is a genuine depiction of what it’s like to “date” in ambiguous terms. Donna is certain that Max isn’t her type, she’s not reserved and he is, as Donna puts it, “too Christian.” Slate and Lacey excel at playing off of each other and their sparks are tangible.
Gaby Hoffman plays Nellie, the best friend a gal could ask for and she and Slate’s back-and-forth is effortlessly authentic. It’s clear that a woman directed and wrote this film because the dialogue feels like conversations young women would have.
Go see this movie if you feel like being wooed while laughing and even being a bit grossed-out. Also, see it for Slate’s hilarious and heartfelt performance, in wObvious Child is a rom-com for the less conventional and edgier crowd.