The abortion industry did its best to pitch the movie Obvious Child as an “unapologetic” but “hilarious” romantic comedy about abortion, even as the director and star eschewed such a depiction. And therein lies the irony.
Abortion proponents want desperately to remove the stigma surrounding abortion, and they desperately hoped Obvious Child would be a “game-changing” vehicle to entice and persuade pop culture.
But those who invested and starred in Obvious Child pragmatically knew aversion to abortion would be exactly what kept pop culture from attending, thus their attempts to back away from the odious A-word. (The film distributor’s synopsis of the film doesn’t even include the word “abortion.”)
Neither tactic worked.
It is doubtful whether Obvious Child will ever achieve wide release (defined as showing in 600 theaters), because it is tanking only one week after it officially opened nationwide on June 27, earning 31% less this weekend than the first, with a meager draw of $1,854 per theater.
Obvious Child only started out of the gate well its first three weeks because the abortion industry mustered all the feminists it could find to attend special screenings (sometimes free) propped by star power in select theaters in abortion-friendly cities.
My son-in-law Andy Moore and I found it interesting that the theater where we attended a matinee showing of Obvious Child, along with a small sprinkling of women and one other guy, displayed no publicity poster inside or out – the most invisible advertising ever.
Using the romantic-comedy genre as its vehicle, Obvious Child sought to promote the third option an unintentionally pregnant mother faces – abortion. This in direct competition with rom-com Knocked Up, which promoted the choice of keeping one’s baby, and rom-com Juno, which promoted placing one’s baby for adoption.
Does Obvious Child succeed?
By that which is most important, the numbers, heck no. Knocked Up grossed a total of $148.7 million, and Juno grossed $143.5 million. Although it is still early, Obvious Child is obviously not riding any sort of wave and has grossed a paltry $1.9 million. Apples to apples, Juno was an indie film, too, and by this point it had earned $26 million. Pro-life indie films Bella and October Baby earned gross totals of $8 million and $5.3 million respectively.
An interesting financial subplot is that Obvious Child’s production budget has been kept a closely guarded secret. All that is known is writer and director Gillian Robespierre raised $37,000 on Kickstarter to get the film to the Sundance Film Festival last year and then sold the rights at Sundance to independent film distributor A24 for “low seven figures.” How embarrassing were Obvious Child to lose money -- hence the shroud of secrecy.
Since Planned Parenthood’s influence in the production of Obvious Child is palpable, “a potent PSA,” as Breitbart calls it, no one should be surprised if it is later learned Planned Parenthood funded it in a small or large way. Here’s Mother Jones on Planned Parenthood’s fingerprints:
Planned Parenthood also consulted on the development and production of Obvious Child, vetting the script and allowing them to shoot in a clinic in New Rochelle, New York [picture, right]. “They were so supportive, a real friend of the film,” Robespierre says. “They read a draft of the script, they loved it, and they were so enthusiastic that we were making a movie that sort of takes away the stigma of the choice….”
Planned Parenthood then offered a few notes on the screenplay (what a nurse at one of their clinics would say to a patient, for instance). A few Planned Parenthood employees can be seen in the film as extras.
Aside from the movie’s vulgarity and unrealistic pro-abortion bent, what did I think of Obvious Child?
Well, it is certainly a niche film. If one is a pro-abortion feminist, ambivalent-to-pro-abortion post-abortive parent, liberal movie critic, or Planned Parenthood groupie; or if one likes poop/pee/fart/stained underwear/anal sex jokes coming out the wazoo, pardon the pun, one will like Obvious Child.
That said, the audience thus far has given it a total rating of 3.8/5 on Rotten Tomatoes, although rest assured the abortion industry stacked those reviews with abortion zealots.
Stripping away the plot and focusing on the rom-com aspect only, I would have given the film 2-1/2 out of 4 stars, as Andy would have, although pretzelizing a review in that way defeats its purpose.
As for the ins and out of Obvious Child’s implausible and unsettling plot line, I thought Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life nailed it at Breitbart. What she said.
Abortion enthusiasts gambled big on Obvious Child, and they lost, solely because they were obsessed with killing the obvious child.