The XX Factor

Abortion: Romantic, Funny, and Now Without the “Schma” Prefix

Abigail, who among us doesn’t love hope and redemption in our feature length films , as well as our Internet shorts starring hilarious locally-grown comediennes? But if we’re allowing that Juno and Knocked Up both end on a hopeful and redemptive note , ( Juno ends with Ellen Page and Michael Cera singing a duet with the lyrics, “Squinched up your face and did a dance/ Shook a little turdlet from the bottom of your pants” and Knocked Up with Heigl’s character locked into a union with a man she doesn’t even like), I don’t see any reason why Obvious Child , Gillian Robespierre’s funny movie about a date in an abortion clinic is any less satisfying on that front. The hope of the film is that unplanned pregnancies happen and, gasp , they don’t irrevocably ruin lives.

The trouble with your characterization of Donna is that it seems like unless she was a nun you would characterize her as a narcissistic party-loving twentysomething. This is an Internet short, not an Oscar nominated film, so perhaps I wasn’t expecting as much character development as you were. To me, Donna seemed more like an average girl rather than a vodka-downing succubus. We’re introduced to her trying on a matronly turtleneck to wear to dinner at her boyfriend’s Grandma’s house. After he breaks up with her at the vintage store, her friend takes her to a bar for a drink. She gets drunk and goes home with someone, and since we’re told she’s just gotten out of a two-year relationship, I get the impression this isn’t a habit for her. They use a condom, and she leaves in the morning. Stop me at the point this narrative makes it seem like she’s a “self-absorbed partier.” Because I just don’t see it.

The condom fails, and she goes to get an abortion. Donna does what many of us do when life deals us a shitty hand-she handles it with humor. Juno handles her pregnancy the same way. And if anything, being able to see the light in a craptastic situation is a sign of maturity and self-possession. It seems like the only thing separating your diverging judgment of Donna and Juno is that one chose abortion and one didn’t.