Thursday, June 19, 2014

Femininity Friday: Obvious Child

Good morning! Welcome to another Femininity Friday. This is the day of the week when we discuss issues specific to being a woman. Topics range from health and fitness to femininity and feminism. Today I want to talk about an insidious movie that is creeping in to American theaters: Obvious Child

While the name of the movie may sound cute, the movie itself is NOT something that I recommend anyone to see. This movie is billed as a romantic comedy but it falls into a special section of romantic comedies: unplanned pregnancies. This group includes movies such as:

  • Nine Months- the story is told from the side of Hugh Grant the longtime boyfriend of the mother-to-be. He is afraid of commitment and as the story progresses he realizes that he will have to change his partying ways. 
  • For Keeps- the story of a pregnant teenager that gets pregnant in high school, gets married and tries to make it all work out. 
  • Knocked Up- A movie that came out while I was in high school, which all of my friends saw and quoted for YEARS to come. This is the story of a girl that "hooks up" with a guy in a bar and takes him home. Eight weeks later ater deciding to forget about the expirience Alison finds out that she is pregnant and has to contact her one night stand. They end up keeping the baby and drive off into the sunset together. 
  • Juno- Another movie that came out when I was in high school Everyone LOVED it. This movie is about two teenagers that have sex and get pregnant. Although the movie touches on the main character possibly getting an abortion, Juno ultimately decides not to abort the baby because she finds out the baby has fingernails. She decides instead to give the baby up for adoption. 

These movies all touch on the issue of unplanned pregnancy, usually from the "oh my gosh how did this happen?" kind of a way. This really irritates me. Sex leads to pregnancy. That is basic biology. So is it in movies that everyone acts surprised when they have sex and then wind up pregnant? 

Now I am rambling, back to the point.

The movie Obvious Child is an independent film about a young woman who finds herself in a similar situation as the others. She finds herself pregnant and alone. Instead of keeping the child or putting the child up for adoption like the other movies, Dona has an abortion. 

Being pregnant with my first child, this breaks my heart. I cannot imagine letting go of the little life that is growing inside me as I write this post. I feel him/her move, push, and stretch. I felt him/her have the hiccups yesterday for the very first time.  

Having never been pregnant outside of marriage I cannot claim to have any understanding of the questions and fears that these women must feel. However, I believe that turning this issue into a romantic comedy is a slippery slope. Is it a laughable thing, this conversation about abortion? While Gillian Robespierre (the fiilm's director) says that the movie is not purely about abortion but rather a woman's right to laugh, I have a hard time believing that to be true. She openly says that the movie does not make jokes about abortion, and that the laughs are all earned. 

In my mind, that is just like saying that a movie in which there is a rape scene is still ok as long as they don't make jokes about it.

The jokes aside, the movie still skirts around the fact that this woman decided to end a human life. I have written about abortion a handful of times and you can read those here. One of the things that bothers me most about the issue of abortion is the terminology. You can dress the vocabulary up as much as you want but at the end of the day, a child is dead. So why is that in a "romantic comedy"? In my opinion there is nothing "romantic" or "comedic" about a dead child. Obvious Child is a horrific example how very mislead our culture is about the miracle of life. It isn't funny, quotable, or energizing to see the death of a child portrayed so cavalierly. 

If you would like more information about the abortion debate,
 please check out

1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard of Obvious Child so thank you for pointing out this movie. I can't believe it's considered romantic comedy. As a fan of rom-coms, I'm offended. I agree that abortion is not romanitc or comedic. TY for the heads up! Visiting you from Fellowship Fridays.


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