Friday, June 20, 2014

Obvious Child

If you're at all plugged into the festival scene you've probably heard about this film already, as it's taken this year's circuit by storm, generating a lot of high praise.  But I, as always, have my own mind and have mixed feelings.

Jenny Slate plays a struggling and extraordinarily immature comic who isn't adapting well to growing up.  In fact she makes one bad decision after another as she struggles with her stand up career and with dating.  She drinks too much, makes poor life decisions, and sabotages her relationships despite coming from a healthy upper middle class background with caring parents.  It's everything I can't stand about a generation of post-college grads, as exemplified by the increasingly deplorable cable show 'Girls'.  However, 'Obvious Child' has something that 'Girls' doesn't, and that is the undeniable charm and appeal of Jenny Slate.  Sure, she walks the line here between annoyingly whiny and adorably cute, but she always manages to stay on the adorable cute side.  Thanks to her, I can't deny 'Obvious Child' is a crowd pleaser, as is the Paul Simon song of the same name which is featured in the film.  (I forgot how much I loved that song.)

Grade: B

Who is this movie for?  Even though it's indie, it's charming enough to have mass audience appeal for both men and women as a good date film.  Pair it with the overlooked Sleepwalk with Me featuring Mike Birbiglia as another charming stand up comic struggling to make a career and keep his life together.

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