"I'm gonna say it out loud right now--out loud right now," Jenny Slate's character stammers in a clip from Obvious Child, broadcast during an interview with her and Gillian Robespierre on NPR's Fresh Air. Pregnancy, abortion, farts, tummies: these two women are saying it all out loud in the new romantic comedy, now in theaters. Co-written and directed by Robespierre,Obvious Child is about a female stand-up comedian (Slate) who decides to get an abortion after a drunken one-night stand. We're proud to say the short film Obvious Child (now feature-length in theatres) was co-written by our very own BUSTie Anna Bean!
It's one of the few stereotypical story lines that Hollywood shies away from--precisely because of the reaction Slate gets in the film to saying it "out loud"--nobody laughs. But that's what makes the hilarious Slate (who you might know as Mona Lisa on Parks and Rec, or equally deranged roles on Kroll Show) the perfect protagonist for this film. She can make anything funny, and her squeaky voice and bubbly demeanor are so comforting I wish she could take me to every gyno appointment.
More importantly, the idea behind Obvious Child is that the protagonist's decision to get an abortion is just that--one decision in the life of a complex and multifaceted woman. Obvious Child says, funny girls get abortions too.
In this interview with Terry Gross, Slate and Robespierre discuss "unladylike" subjects such as not wearing pants, a line we all sadly cross eventually, while also delving into the serious considerations of what it means to be a funny, creative woman. "I'm a couple of years away from thirty, and nobody knows how to do their taxes," Slate retorts in another clip. This interview is inspiring not only for the insight into all that these two women have accomplished, but for their descriptions of the obstacles of ridicule and panic that they overcame. Slate talks about her infamous flub on SNL and subsequent run-in with stage fright. She also said some things about her early sexuality that were apparently too racy for public radio:
Slate calls herself an "impostor adult" and Robespierre says "I'm thirty-five and I'm constantly changing." But Robespierre says that in her thirties, what changed fundamentally was her voice, in every sense. She has become confident, enough to ask why we shouldn't put a word such as "abortion" on movie posters. Listening to these two women tell their stories shows girls that the biggest talent comes from the darkest places and the deepest, most uncomfortable areas, and that we shouldn't be afraid to go there. That's why it's so fundamentally important that women continue to represent for the ladies in comedy, TV and film. "When I'm up there," Jenny Slate says about stand-up, "I"m imagining a world where my nature is celebrated and my gender is just a part of it." Listen to the full interview.
Are you imagining it too? Tell us in the comments below.