The rom-com genre can be dangerous waters to tread if you’re a filmmaker. Such terrain often feels staid, yet director Gillian Robespierre found plenty to turn anew in her debut feature Obvious Child. With some help from her leading actor, Jenny Slate (whose emotional transparency is utterly magnetic), Robespierre successfully carries out what she originally set out to accomplish.
‘We made the short and the feature in response to a bunch of romantic comedies that were about unplanned pregnancy and ended in childbirth,’ Robespierre said. ‘I liked Knocked Up, and I liked Juno and Waitress. But they are the reason we made this movie as a reaction. I enjoyed watching them, but it didn’t ring true to me.’
Obvious Child‘s team then took the tropes that come inside the rom-com starter kit and, rather than attempting to toss them out, instead concentrated on making each trope truer, more nuanced, more realistic. And funnier.