The old saying about not judging a book by its cover is well known, but not used often in daily life. We are used to judge a lot of things by a first impression, the proverbial cover, and at the movies it is usual too.
I would never have watched Obvious Child if Joe hadn't told me to (in a very enthusiastic manner). The Portuguese titles are not attractive - there are two relating to this movie: Unexpected News and Among Laughs and Tears. And the movie's poster was not endearing to me neither. So, thanks to Joe, again (!), I could see an amazing small movie that I'd not seen if not for him.
According to Robert McFee in his book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, the most important thing in a story is honesty. If the writer is true to his views, the story has a good chance of reaching the audience. It doesn't matter if is an epic or simple story, actually, but how it is told. For some time now, honesty is a matter of great importance for me in a movie or book. Often I answer a question about a movie saying that it was honest. True to itself. And that was what I was thinking during the Gillian Robespierre's directional debut.
Obvious Child is an absolutely honest movie. So much that at some moments we can think it is too much, but it's not. If there's a place fit to debate difficult matters this place is cinema. Violence, sexuality, prejudices... every taboo that we are not able to debate honestly in a ordinary basis is presented in amazing ways by movies (by fictional narratives in general). In this case, womanhood is the main matter. Donna Stern is an artists, and her raw material ir her own life, her intimacy in every tiny detail, specially the most uncomfortable ones. I got myself questioning the necessity of exposing the infamous creamy cheesy pants. But right away I put down those thoughts, and gave myself an earful for thinking that way. And, at the end, I thought that,, yeah, this exposing was not only necessary but the strength of this story. Its honesty in discussing a woman's life in many aspects, in a ironic yet respectful and true.
This movie is so cute, funny, captivating... I laughed so hard sometimes (I'm sure I woke up three or four neighbors), but at the last scene I was actually crying. It is not sad, though, but very vivid, so much that I inevitably got emotional. A simples story that goes beyond itself to talk about life in a sweet and funny way.
Why deny the obvious child?
|Hey, Max... Would you marry me? By any chance?|
Obvious Child Directed and written by Gillian Robespierre. With: Jane Slate,
Jack Lacy, Gabby Hoffmann. US, 2014, 84 min., Dolby, Color (Cable TV).
PS: It was an emotional day in stories, and music had a main role in it. In order to tell that, I'll spoil some aspects in this movie and the Sense8 TV show. I hope you don't mind... First it was Sense8 and how the 8 main characters could relate to each other from different parts of the globe by 4 non blondes What's up? There's a moment in a good series when the story becomes special, and that was it for me in Sense8. A few hours after, I was surprised to hear the first accords of Olodum drumming in Obvious Child. Olodum is a force of nature, and the scene featuring Paul Simon's song is brilliant, goofy, lovely. I also could remember how I was in love with this song, but I unfortunately gave the Paul Simon's in The Park CD away. Now I have to hear it on youtube.