First Hit: This film is direct, at times interesting, and at other times touching.
Although the film is about a woman comedian, it doesn’t necessarily make it a comedy. Is it funny at times? Yes.
But what struck me about this film was the directness of the main character Donna Stern (played by Jenny Slate). Directness doesn’t make the character smart or making smart choices, yet the frankness of Stern’s (character) is admirable.
For me this film is really about how we keep people away by not being open in our hearts to see how others might be reaching out. The opening sequence has Donna on stage at a small comedy club sharing her life and her life with her current boyfriend. As comedians will do, her observations of their relationship in public do not make him feel good, and after the show he dumps her. This begins a sequence of events that have her begin trying to discover more about her life.
Enter Max (Jake Lacy), a very different man than she’s used to being around. This film is about changing, seeing oneself and another in a deeper way and trusting the feelings and another person. My favorite two scenes: When she tells her mom she’s pregnant and when she’s on the couch with Max at the end – both very touching.
Slate was really good at portraying a woman needing to shift her view of family and her life. Lacy was strong as a solid guy who cares and wants to care about Donna. Polly Draper as Nancy Stern (mother) was good at showing her heart at the right time. Richard Kind as Donna’s dad Jacob was also good as the creative dad Donna relates to. Gillian Robespierre and Kelly Maine wrote a very strong script. Robespierre did a really good job of directing this story.
Overall: It was a good film about a woman making a difficult decision and learning to let go of her stranglehold on her own heart.