This is how sad my face looked because I couldn’t attend either SFIFF screening of “Obvious Child”! It’s actually Jenny Slate in Obvious Child, and I was fortunate enough to get to see the film at the Women + Film Voices Film Festival in Denver a few months ago; And then it was at the Vail Film Festival and now at San Francisco International Film Festival! Gillian Robespierre couldn’t be present at any of the screenings, but at the Denver festival, they did Skype her in! She talked about how perfect Jenny Slate was for the role and how hard it is to be a filmmaker in New York City now that even the seedier parts of the city were too expensive for artists to afford rent!
The less you know about the film, the better I think you’ll enjoy it. Jenny Slate is known for her character on the comedy Parks and Recreation and her stand-up routines in the film are awkward and down-right raunchy. In contrast, her moments of pathos are endearing and the emotions she portrays feel very real. This a modern romance but there isn’t a trite Hollywood scene of boy-saves-girl. Instead, it’s girl-has-bad-break-up, stalks-ex, has-ill-conceived-1st-date-sex, and then must face the consequences. This is messy. Just like life.
The soundtrack is great. The cast is wonderful. And Gillian Robespierre is a fresh new voice! She’s writing something right now and I hope that she continues to find an audience for this film on the festival circuit and beyond. We need her vision and her braveness!
Rating: 4 1/2 glasses of wine out of 5
Bechdel Rating: Passes