Jenny Slate Brings Ample Humor (& Heartache) To “Obvious Child”


Obvious Child’s storyline centers on Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), a New Yorker who, although she has command of the stage as a stand up comic, fails to find balance or structure in her own life. Her neurosis is understandable, as she’s been dumped by an idiot boyfriend (Paul Briganti) and has a one night stand that leads to her pregnancy.

Directed and written by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child has been summarized as a comedy about abortion, and such a pat description undercuts the film’s wonderful mixture of emotional depth and humor. Slate delivers a knockout performance as an artist on the verge of an emotional breakdown, and Jake Lacy (TV’s The Office and the short-lived Better With You) also holds his own as Donna’s patient (and equally funny) love interest Joey.

The film started out as a 2009 short, with Slate serving as the lead. With the assistance over the years with IFP, Rooftop Films, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the San Francisco Society, Robespierre and Slate were able to witness the full blossom of Obvious Child, and 83-minute flick is now playing in Los Angeles and New York (with a wider rollout on June 13 & the following weekend).

Click on the media bar below to hear Slate discuss main difference between her and Donna Stern:

I also asked Slate about the joys of collaborating with husband Dean Fleischer-Camp on the drop dead funny (and cute) short Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (my favorite line: “Guess what I do for adventure? I hang glide on a Dorito”). The short’s success inspired their 2011 children’s book Marcel The Shell: Things About Me. Click on the audio below to hear Slate offer up her thoughts on the internet and Marcel The Shell.