Bringing Visibility to the word “Abortion”

By: John Armstrong

What are your thoughts on Abortion? is it easy to talk about? Is it considered to be a social problem? Or wait, maybe we should include it in films! Think about it for a minute.

I bring this topic up because of a recent film I had watched called, ‘Obvious Child’ a 2014 comedy, drama film directed by Gillian Robespierre.Donna Stern an aspirant comedian, in her everyday life as a female in her twenties provides sufficient enough material for her brand of humor. Related imageWhen Donna is on stage you learn in the film that she is unapologetic-ally herself as she jokes pretty much about her personal life. Topics so personal that she even speaks about her sex life with her boyfriend and as raw as her day-old underwear.

Without giving away too much of the movie, I believe the filmmakers were trying to accomplish a film that would describe a social issue that is hard to talk about. This comedy, drama film treats abortion with care while never really leaning to one side of the spectrum or the other politically wise. On a Comedic level it is on par with a lot of straight up comedies, but it separates itself by having true moments of drama specifically the drastic news of her possibly having to enter parenthood.

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8 Responses to Bringing Visibility to the word “Abortion”

  1. This is a really interesting combo– abortion and comedy. I would have never paired the two. But then again, it reminds me of a great film I recently watched which is a comedy about a child abduction, so I suppose nothing is off limits. I think I will read into this one a little more because it sounds pretty unique. Talking about hard-to-digest social issues through comedy can be effective, so I’m curious how this plays out.

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think you bring up a really interesting point about the power of humor to get us to talk about subjects that are difficult or often avoided. Similar to Jenny Slate, who plays Donna in this film as you’ve noted, Aziz Ansari is dealing with “hard to talk about” subjects on his show, Master of None. I think really great comedians are starting to recognize a certain responsibility they have to use their talent to push viewers to engage with easily avoidable conversations.

    – Lydia Geisel

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I think its impressive to make film about huge social issues that stays politically neutral on the topic. I guess that’s the magic of comedy- its universal and brings people together. I’m really interested to see how this film balances the comedy aspect with such a heavy social issue.

    -Kendra Thornton

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I think it is a great way to bring up a controversial topic, i just think that you have to watch the approach taken. Sometimes these concepts are presented very one sided and cause problems. Just as I talked last week in my blog about animation controversy. When done right I think it is a great avenue to get people to talk on uncomfortable subjects. At the end of the day I think we will never agree on an answer on how we as people feel. It creates a divide between different sexes and religion. I wonder how the reviews on this film would be if a guy was talking about it in a comedic way.
    -Dez Wortham

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I really enjoyed this film when I watched it. Mixing comedy and a sensitive issue such as abortion is a really interesting approach to the matter. Though this film received some controversy, this is beneficial because (like Dez said) it is a way for people to bring it up good or bad. Some directors tend to shy away from portraying topics similar to this one, but the director executed it in a way that (at least to me) is light-hearted and funny while also going more in-depth about the struggle of having to make such a difficult decision.

    -Shelby Halliman

  6. mediaphiles says:

    John, I found this film to be extremely interesting, especially since it outlined something that my father always taught me about comedy- it is a way to bring light to very difficult situations. It was also extremely refreshing to see the way that Jenny Slate handled the difficulties that she was facing, and the ways in which she utilized comedy to deal with it (in certain circumstances, almost as a coping mechanism). It was also interesting that this film is a comedy, but does follow the theme that we discussed in “Film Festivals”, of festivals having a more serious tone. Thank you!

    – Luke Dellorso

  7. mediaphiles says:

    Your review intrigued me to the point where I want to watch this film this weekend. I do not know if you have seen Juno, but what you said above reminds me of it in some way. Juno had some comedic elements and made talking about teen pregnancy easier and more light-hearted while still discussing something that can be hard at times. I can definitely see the overlap of the two and am excited to see the similarities!

    -Maddie Turner

  8. marymdalton says:

    I think this is a wonderful film — a romantic comedy that includes abortion is an unlikely combination!

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