Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, Gabe Liedman, Polly Draper, Richard Kind, David Cross, Paul Briganti
Written by: Gillian Robespierre, Karen Maine, Elisabeth Holm
Directed by: Gillian Robespierre
MPAA Rating: R for language and sexual content
Running Time: 84
Date: 05/04/2014

Obvious Child (2014)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

She's Funny That Way

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Comedian and actress Jenny Slate gets a rich and funny role in Obvious Child (2014) as Donna Stern, a struggling 30-something who works in a going-out-of-business bookshop and does occasional stand-up at a local club. Her parents are splitsville, she can barely pay her rent, and her boyfriend dumps her. Drunk, she meets a cute grad student, Max (Jake Lacy), has a one-night stand, and ends up pregnant. Director Gillian Robespierre avoids focusing entirely on laughs, and spends just as much time exploring the appealingly flawed characters, even if she can't completely avoid all the usual rom-com formulas. The supporting cast, including Gaby Hoffmann as Donna's best pal, Richard Kind as her puppeteer father, Polly Draper as her professor mother, and David Cross as a sleazy fellow comic, is uniformly terrific and lends a great deal of spirited humanity to the movie.

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