Lorne Michaels has a tendency to fire some great women after only one season of Saturday Night Live. He fired the promising Noël Wells after last season, and the funny Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson in recent years. Thankfully, both Watkins and Wilson have gone on to decent post-SNL careers.
Of all of the female firings in recent years, none was more of an injustice than the letting-go of Jenny Slate. Slate, in her debut episode, dropped an F-bomb. It appears she was never really forgiven for the mistake, although she did make it through the season.
Now Slate has come roaring back with Obvious Child, a funny and strikingly honest film about a woman seeking an abortion. Slate plays standup comic Donna Stern, a woman who will say anything onstage for a laugh. After a breakup, she meets the charming Max (Jake Lacy), and they have a one-night stand.
Soon thereafter, Donna discovers she is pregnant. She immediately decides on an abortion, while the unknowing Max is just trying to get a second date. Everything comes to a head—and it’s all handled in a very sweet and honest way.
Slate is both funny and intense in this film, showing that she has major dramatic chops, like her SNL cohorts Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader demonstrated in the recent The Skeleton Twins. It’s a movie that should get her a lot of future work—and remove the sting of Michaels giving her the ax.
Special Features: Slate sits down with her writer and director for a commentary. There are also some extended scenes, a documentary and the short film on which the movie is based.