83 minutes, U.S.A., 2014, Colour, D-Cinema

Understandably aggrieved when she gets ‘dumped up with’ and then fired in quick succession, comedian Donna (the hilarious Jenny Slate) divulges all in a fairly solemn stand-up routine and then ends up drinking, followed by sleeping with a chap she meets at the bar. When she realises she’s pregnant and not ready to be a mother, her friend (Gaby Hoffman) supports her decision to get an abortion but insists it’s unnecessary to tell the unwitting father, something about which Donna is less convinced.

A refreshing take on a difficult subject matter and subverting a genre that’s long been in need of an overhaul, Obvious Child is a superb romantic comedy that has been lauded since its premiere at this year’s Sundance. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.

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