Rom-coms are pretty formulaic these days: boy meets girl, hilarity of one kind or another ensues, boy marries girl. Like they say, if it ain't broke.
But what if you intentionally go out of your way to make a broken rom-com?
Just as Donna (Jenny Slate) comes off stage after a stand-up gig in her local club, her natural buzz is soon killed by her boyfriend as he decides to break up with her.
As if she wasn't feeling vulnerable enough, when she goes to the book shop she works in, her boss tells her that they're having to close down. So in quick succession, Donna finds herself both dumped and soon to be unemployed.
Just as she's feeling really sorry for herself, she meets Max (Jake Lacy). He's just the shot in the arm she needs right now. So she goes home with him and spends the night. She sneaks out in the morning feeling slightly better about life.
A couple of weeks later, she notices her breasts hurt. After her friend Nellie (Gaby Hoffman) jokes that she's probably pregnant, it dawns on Donna that she might actually be. This is soon confirmed by peeing on a stick. So on top of everything else going on in her life, she has something else to add to the list – an unplanned pregnancy.
If Lena Dunham started a trend with her warts-and-all TV show Girls, then director Gillian Robespierre certainly picks up the diseased baton and hobbles off with it.
Obvious Child is a rom-com that has been purposefully skinned and turned inside out, leaving fragile and low-key remnants behind. To a certain extent Slate's character is an anti-heroine; she's not obsessed with her looks or what she wears, instead her comedy takes her to places that are rooted in the everyday that are also arguably taboo. It's here that she's supposed to come across as being quite edgy, but there's a fairly big chance that she may just leaving you feeling indifferent.
Unfortunately, as fresh and honest as her comic turns on and off screen are, she isn't particularly funny. It's a case of probably trying too hard to be amusing: think Sarah Silverman and you're just about there.
However, the lead character's plight may well win you over by the end; it's kind of ironic, that at this point, after pushing so hard to not be a rom-com, it rolls over, belly up in the air in submissive fashion, and becomes the very thing it didn't want to be. Life can be funny that way, at least.