Jenny Slate, Gillian Robespierre on 'Obvious Child' and confessional comedy
It's the stuff that people find in common with Slate's character Donna -- whether its drinking wine to excess to tend a wounded heart, pants-off dance-offs or pregnancy scares -- that gives the movie its charge. And it's the comedy in every circumstance, even when Donna opts for an abortion, that gives "Obvious Child" its spark.
Calling the Robespierre-directed film an "abortion comedy" is reductive. "Rom-com" isn't quite right either. Its New York setting and Donna's arrested development has caused a lot of critics to lump it in with "Frances Ha," "Broad City" and "Girls"; those assessments just go to show there's not a lot of solid, hilarious coming-of-agers in film or TV that lend humanity and hard-edged wisdom to 20-something independent women.
Ampilified more, then, is the fact that "Obvious Child" was written by women, directed by a woman, led and carried by women. In our conversation this week about the film, Robespierre doesn't dig the term "Women in film," just as Slate isn't a "Woman in comedy." They're the people who know uniquely how to illustrate a POV, what it's like to bomb on stage, dance in their skivvies, fear the moral wrath of their mothers and make drunk fart jokes like everyone else.
Watch our whole interview above. Read more about "SNL" alum Slate and our review of "Obvious Child" here. The film is in theaters now.