Hovering between a legitimate Hollywood production and an awkward PSA for Planned Parenthood, Obvious Child is like watching an alternate universe edition of Juno and Knocked Up.
Pandering to Planned Parenthood’s target demographic, the movie features a late twenty-something who is crudely truthful, smart, awkward, immature and quick witted. I could easily envision her as friends with many in my age demographic.
(Spoilers ahead …)
Donna (Jenny Slate), a stand-up comedian, is cheated on, gets drunk, has a one-night stand with nice guy she meets at the bar. She later discovers she is pregnant, and, as half of women in New York City do, immediately makes plans for her abortion.
Her roommate has already had an abortion and is there to walk her through it all. Donna struggles with whether or not to tell the man she had risky, unprotected sex with that she is having an abortion but finally does and he supports her, no questions asked.
At the end of the movie, Donna’s abortion brings this unlikely couple together. Yet not once is another option besides abortion considered. Donna is scared to tell her overachieving, college professor mother of her plans but finds herself relieved when her mom says “Thank God” and admits that Donna is missing a sibling because of her own illegal abortion.
In between finding out she is pregnant and actually having her abortion, the plot follows Donna as she experiences a series of emotions and “grows up.” Sadly, Planned Parenthood’s mission is accomplished: the movie portrays abortion as normal, common, and just another part of growing up.
In addition, it takes the first step to desensitize our pro-life generation to the gruesome procedure.
Smartly, Planned Parenthood cedes ground in the film, giving themselves arguably more credibility in the process. They show Donna sad and pensive in the days leading up to the abortion, silently crying when she lays down for her abortion, and reflective as she sits with a dozen other women in the recovery room.
While many will watch Obvious Child and cheer, the majority of Americans will feel weird about it because we know that something was clearly off in this movie. There are many unanswered questions like “why was Donna sad?” The movie eerily leaves that part unspoken. Only one mention is ever made to what is actually inside of Donna. When her friend encourages her on before her stand-up comedy routine and tells her that she is “going to kill it” on stage, Donna smartly replies “Umm, I actually have an appointment to do that tomorrow.”
Even though I might have the only person crying in the theater (of half a dozen people), when the suction machine turned on, I know they all were thinking the same thing. Was was being sucked out? Is it really a blob of tissue or something more?
Oblivious Child, oops, I mean Obvious Child, was smartly written, including all of the Planned Parenthood logos and hitting the supposedly important talking points. But it will never be made into sequel, because the story ended. Donna’s preborn baby was killed. She entered into a new relationship that is at great risk for falling apart because of the abortion.
The oblivious child “grew up” and became another profitable statistic for Planned Parenthood.
Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America.