Some of my favourite films of all time are independent features. Most of these made it on to my radar after being catapulted into unexpected commercial success based solely on their artistic merits, and in spite of their shoestring budgets and almost complete lack of traditional marketing. It is what happened with Juno, and what happened again with 500 Days of Summer. It happened last summer with The Way Way Back. These films rely on word of mouth, film festivals, and... yes... bloggers, to get noticed.
I want this same "surprise hit" status to befall Obvious Child, perhaps my favourite film of the year so far.
Before I even review it, I want you to watch the trailer, because the trailer helps really frame this unusual little movie.
It stars the familiar yet still not "famous" faces of Jenny Slate (formerly of SNL), and Jake Lacy (who played Pete on the final season of The Office) in a romantic comedy that centers around the most unfunny of circumstances: an impending abortion.
Slate is Donna Stern, a 27 year-old stand-up comedienne who is cheated on and unceremoniously dumped by her douchey boyfriend in the bathroom of a comedy club. She then has a bit of a meltdown, drinking heavily and partaking in what she describes as some "light" stalking. Her friends, Nellie (Gaby Hoffmann) and Joey (Gabe Liedman) do their best to support her. Neither is concerned when Donna meets the straight-laced "nice guy", Max (Lacy), after a disastrous and drunken stand-up set and equally disastrous attempt at flirting. For some reason, Max finds Donna's unhinged and unapologetic humour endearing, and the two end up having a very silly, very drunken, one-night-stand.