Tragedy plus time equals comedy, they say. Jenny Slate's timing is always perfect.
Her tragedy's pretty good, too. The ex-Saturday Night Live cast member, one half of Bestie x Bestie, and voice of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On stars in the upcoming film Obvious Child, and it looks to be the definition of bittersweet.
In her first leading film role, Slate plays Donna, a depressive standup comic who finds herself on the business end of an unwanted pregnancy by a guy she dubs "the pee-farter." (You'll have to watch the trailer.) But, instead of pulling a Juno, she decides to terminate it.
Don't worry, that's not a spoiler. Nor is it just a punchline — Slate and the film treat the decision with a mixture of deadpan humor and the gravity it deserves. "I'm having your abortion," a wracked Donna says to herself in the mirror. "Do you want to share a dessert?"
A favorite at Sundance this year, Obvious Child was written and directed by Gillian Robespierre and began as a 20-minute short film several years back. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Robespierre managed to turn it into a feature that's out in theaters this summer.
The film also stars Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, and Slate's Bestie Gabe Liedman, who has a delightfully original take on the pitfalls of menstruation.