Pregnant Women Reviews – Road Abortion Comedy Is Such A Rocky Fun Ride | Comedy movies

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If during one of the many uncomfortably scattered scenes of the Punitive Escape from Sundance Never Rarely Sometimes Always you found yourself craving the slight relief of a Kelly Clarkson while singing, so all you needed was patience. Because in just a few short months, the dark story of a 17-year-old girl traveling with a cousin across state lines to have an abortion has been transformed into a more spirited story of a young girl from 17-year-old traveling with a friend across state lines to obtain an abortion. Something for everyone, then.

In Unpregnant, a shaggy but charming new comedy from HBO Max, the state’s archaic and arbitrary laws regarding how and where under-18s can have abortions without parental involvement is once again judged, and there is a naturally exhausted frustration that binds the two films together. While in Eliza Hittman’s austere drama there is less verbalization of it or anything, in Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s reverse comedy, the two teens at its center are more than willing to share their disdain for the technical details that push them into a nearly 2,000 mile round trip in a weekend. This is not what Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) expected at this rigidly planned point in her life and when she finds out that the state of Missouri does not allow her to complete without her mother. finds out, she is forced to rely on an old friend.

Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) is the childhood pal that Veronica slowly pushed away, the black sheep whose unconventional style and lack of interest in academia led to a split as she got older. The bitterness remains, but Veronica is in desperate need of a turn and after some difficult negotiation, the two hit the road facing an uncertain and at times dangerous trip to New Mexico.

Based on a 2019 book by duo Ted Caplan and Jenni Hendricks (who describe the story as “Thelma and Louise with Abortion” with a clever reference in the last act), Unpregnant is an exceptionally accomplished teen-led comedy, streaming welcome surprise arriving after so many substandard Netflix attempts. Unlike so many of their high school successes, Unpregnant feels directed, a true living and breathing film with a sense of location and style, a film that moves as if it had been made for a much larger screen, relying on more than drone shots to convey the ladder. Its under-the-radar launch, on the relatively new and relatively buzz-free HBO Max, feels a bit of a curse, a stinging shame for a film that would be a rare treat for a younger audience feeling patronizing and underserved by lazily assembled alternatives. .

In his handling of a touchy subject, there is a refreshing lack of shyness and conservatism, a much-needed correction to many simplistic and largely man-made films that came before it. In the movie, there is never any doubt as to whether or not Veronica wants to end and whether or not that is a morally healthy choice. For too long and too often, we are shown female characters who change their minds at the last minute, as if it is finally the right way or, more often, don’t even see abortion as a viable and positive option. . But here there is no shame, no punishment, no regret, just annoyance at a curdled system of hypocrisy and misogyny.

What stumbles the film slightly, after a thrilling first act, is an unnecessary tendency to over-deliver the craziest plot elements. Ferreira’s character is a bit of a cartoonish at times, less of a real person and more of an outsized comedy sidekick, and as the journey progresses the couple encounter a series of increasingly weird and ridiculous situations and characters. with mixed results. It’s almost as if the writers don’t trust us to just sit down with the couple and explore an interesting and fractured friendship on the mend. It’s the less frenzied scenes that work best, filled with little nuggets of insight, fun pop culture references, and earthy, natural chemistry, backed up by a star-studded performance by Richardson, a dynamic, funny and endlessly engaging that makes the most of even the smallest disposable lines. She is a wonder.

It’s an uneven race, rocky in places, but it’s also an undoubtedly interesting way of reminding many of us about how run-down women’s health care is while alerting a younger audience that there is. has more to teen film than Netflix.

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