Saturday 3 February 2024

Movie Review: Unpregnant (2020)

Genre: Road Trip Comedy Drama  
Director: Rachel Lee Goldenberg  
Starring: Haley Lu Richardson, Barbie Ferreira  
Running Time: 104 minutes  

Synopsis: In Missouri, 17-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) learns she is pregnant by boyfriend Kevin. Although he quickly proposes marriage, she decides on an abortion. The nearest clinic offering the service without parental consent is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, almost a thousand miles away. Veronica formulates a travel plan and scrounges together barely enough money, then pressures her car-owning classmate and former best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) into joining her for the weekend road trip. On the long drive, the two girls encounter numerous misadventures and confront several truths.

What Works Well: Tackling the same topic as Never Rarely Sometimes Always (also from 2020), Unpregnant chooses humour to chronicle the ridiculous obstructions in the way of women's health. Director and co-writer Rachel Lee Goldenberg combines affection with laughter, often widening to all-out-comedy, in breezy incidents involving a police tangle over a hot car, a romantic crush, an encounter with pro-lifers, an unexpected reunion, and a limo driver operating in his own lane. Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira create a winning duo carrying the luggage of a ruptured past friendship, and getting reacquainted through shared experiences.

What Does Not Work As Well: The good comedy threatens to obscure the seriousness of Veronica's predicament. All represented parents are useless bystanders, and the pro-life activists are reduced to cartoon representations. 

Conclusion: Laughter as the best remedy to endure a mean obstacle course.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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