Written by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, Ted Caplan, Jenni Hendriks, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, and William Parker
Directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg
Yes, I am reviewing another HBO Max property. No, I am not getting paid by them. If anyone has a way to get Warner Brothers to Venmo me five dollars, I’d much appreciate it. (Or do a sympathy payment on Patreon)
Unpregnant showed up on streaming in September 2020. Yes, last year. Has it been that long?
The story follows Veronica Clarke (Haley Lu Richardson), who is 17 and pregnant, and in need of an abortion. Due to the lack of support from her friends, her overwhelming boyfriend, and Missouri law, she has to road trip to New Mexico. Her only choice is to ask her former best friend, Bailey Butler (Barbie Ferreira).
It’s a refreshing outlook on young women getting abortions. Never Rarely Sometimes Always takes a serious route. All of this is much needed when it comes to the conversation on women on their rights to an abortion.
Veronica has her life planned. Except she has a problem, and it’s that she has a group of cells within her body that she needs to get removed. The one person who finds out is her former best friend Bailey, an outcast who bothers to throw the positive test away.
It’s a buddy road trip movie. It is obvious how Booksmart might’ve influenced this by making them do little dances and relate to one another.
There is good chemistry between Veronica and Bailey. I believe in that friendship. The exposition between them isn’t heavy-handed. Veronica has very religious parents, her sister had a kid young, which puts us in a position as to why she doesn’t want to take the fetus to term. She isn’t ready.
On the other hand, Bailey is alone, weird in her ways. Her dad left, and Veronica had witnessed how Bailey’s father seemed never to want to spend time with her. During Bailey’s parents’ divorce, it becomes hard on Veronica as well, as Bailey is rebelling, and she can’t keep her in check, explaining why they’re not friends anymore.
Bailey, as a character, steals the show from time to time. There’s a raspiness in her voice, much of that of a teenager who talks too loudly. I enjoyed this character because she doesn’t have an ounce of insecurity about her as you’d suspect her of having. Bailey points out to Veronica how toxic her boyfriend is, and she’s the one who is cheering on Veronica and trying to give her confidence. Thank you, writers, for not giving me a fat girl who isn’t talking about how being fat is why she’s not popular.
When it came to Bailey, the best bit for me was that Veronica assumes Bailey isn’t out when she tells her she’s interested in Matthews. Bailey explains, amused that she’s been out to her mom for four years, that her dentist even knows. Veronica wrongly assumes it only because she didn’t. Bailey is unapologetic about being gay, and we thankfully do not have a moment where Veronica asks if Bailey ever had a crush on her.
I did also love when Veronica complains about how dumb abortion laws are. They are. Anti-abortion laws are stupid.
The gem in this movie is the interaction with Bob (Giancarlo Esposito) between the two mains. He is so amazing in playing this off-the-grid loner willing to help two teenagers.
This isn’t a top-tier comedy but still worthy of a watch with some surprise elements in it.