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Comedy Featuring Character's Abortion Story Aims for Realism

Comedy Featuring Character's Abortion Story Aims for Realism

June 3, 2014 — The new comedy "Obvious Child" deliberately differs from other movies that portray unintended pregnancies and abortion decisions in several ways, the New York Times reports.

Notably, the main character does not second-guess her decision to end the pregnancy or consult with the man involved beforehand. The plot contrasts with movies like "Juno," "Knocked Up" and "Waitress," in which the storylines include "unwanted pregnancies [that] eventually lead to changes of hearts and uplifting births," the Times notes.

Writer-director Gillian Robespierre said one reason she wanted to make the movie is because the "majority of movies that deal with abortion actually turn out to be baby comedies," which she felt was not true to life. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters on Friday.

The Times describes the movie as "an abortion romantic comedy," adding that the "complete way it deals with an abortion Donna (played by Jenny Slate) has represents a turning point for how the procedure, pregnancy and women are depicted on film."

Slate noted, "Just because it's not a tragedy for Donna to have an abortion doesn't mean it's not a complex experience," adding, "I think a lot of women feel like they have to be militant when it comes to abortion," but women are "not just fighting for the right to have one, we're fighting for the right to have that complex experience" (Angelo, New York Times, 5/30).