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Movie Review Without Pregnancy (2020) | Screen Rant

Unpregnant delivers a fun and entertaining comedy about female friendship and abortion, with compelling performances from its two leads.

Hollywood is no stranger to road trip comedies, but HBO Max’s Pregnant puts a new spin on the genre with the story of two high school girls who cross state lines because one of them needs an abortion. Directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg (valley girl), Pregnant is based on the 2019 book of the same name by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan. Hendriks and Caplan are also screenwriters on Pregnantjoined by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (A good person), Goldenberg and Bill Parker (princess and the pony). The film is the second HBO Max original feature to debut on the new streaming service, following Seth Rogen’s. American pickle. Pregnant delivers a fun and entertaining comedy about female friendship and abortion, with compelling performances from its two leads.


Pregnant stars Haley Lu Richardson (five feet away) as 17-year-old Veronica Clarke, a perfect-looking high school girl who unexpectedly becomes pregnant. With plans to attend an Ivy League college after graduation, Veronica decides she will have an abortion. However, since she lives in Missouri and an abortion would require parental consent as she is under 18, Veronica decides to drive 1,000 miles to New Mexico for the procedure. But with her friends overly concerned and her boyfriend Kevin (Alex MacNicoll) proposing instead of being supportive, Veronica turns to her childhood best friend Bailey Butler (Barbie Ferreira). Together the two make the journey to New Mexico, and although they encounter many roadblocks along the way, Veronica and Bailey are determined to make it to Albuquerque.

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Haley Lu Richardson and Alex MacNicoll in Unpregnant
Haley Lu Richardson and Alex MacNicoll in Unpregnant

Taken at its basic premise, Pregnant certainly could have been a more serious drama (and, in fact, the premise of a girl crossing state lines to get an abortion East the drama story of 2020 Never Rarely Sometimes Always), but the new HBO Max movie skews more towards a mix of on-the-road comedy and coming-of-age drama. To be clear, Pregnant doesn’t mess with abortion, and the actual description of the procedure is candid and realistic. But the film certainly pokes fun at the difficulties of having abortions for many women in the United States – while it’s not crude, it’s more cathartic humor. There’s a particular scene where Veronica de Richardson lets out her frustrations about the legislature that necessitated her road trip and while some may find it preachy, it’s surprisingly cathartic to see a young girl screaming about how the government American tries to control his body. Girls so rarely get angry in a way that might make those around them (especially men) uncomfortable, but Pregnant unafraid of any aspect of being a teenager, including the realities of abortion.

At the heart of Pregnant The story, however, is the friendship between Veronica and Bailey, which is essentially non-existent at the start of the film, but rekindles as they travel. Their relationship is central to the film, and Richardson and Ferreira do a fantastic job of bringing that dynamic to life. The actresses have plenty of charm in their own solo scenes – and Richardson in particular elevates Pregnant with its nuanced performance – but together they give the film the levity and heart it needs to succeed. In Pregnant, Richardson and Ferreira are joined by solid cast members, including Giancarlo Esposito in a brief but memorable role as limousine driver Bob, as well as Breckin Meyer and Sugar Lyn Beard as a couple who offer Veronica and Bailey a ride. Singer Betty Who also makes a brief appearance as a racing driver who Bailey has a crush on. Overall, it’s a solid cast that helps build the world of Pregnantbut it is Richardson and Ferreira who shine the brightest.

Giancarlo Esposito and Haley Lu Richardson in Unpregnant
Giancarlo Esposito and Haley Lu Richardson in Unpregnant

Or Pregnant falters a bit in developing the motivations of the main characters. Because the film is meant to be a light and airy comedy, it struggles to deepen Veronica and Bailey’s relationships with their families and, in particular, Veronica’s desperation to get to Albuquerque. In place, Pregnant forces viewers to infer that depth based on a few lines of dialogue, like passing comments about Veronica”jesus monster‘ parents (although her father is never even seen) and her acceptance into Brown. Certainly these aspects of the abortion stories are well known, and Pregnant Clearly aims not to be that kind of story, but that leaves the film a bit thematically thin. Goldenberg has something to say in Pregnantbut that message is sometimes muddled amid car chases and montages aimed at Kelly Clarkson.

Ultimately, however, Pregnant tells a story rarely seen in film from a perspective even rarer in abortion movies, and that alone is worth checking out. Beyond that, Pregnant is also a really fun journey, with Richardson and Ferreira taking viewers with them and welcoming audiences into Veronica and Bailey’s friendship. It may not be the most intimate or character-driven story about abortion, but it offers a different and equally compelling take on a procedure so rarely talked about despite the number of women who suffered it. HBO Max subscribers looking for something new to check out — or even those who aren’t HBO Max subscribers — would do well to donate Pregnant a watch. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Following: Trailer of the film without pregnancy

Pregnant is now streaming on HBO Max. It is 104 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual content, coarse language, and some drug references.

Let us know what you thought of the movie in the comments section!

Our assessment:

3 out of 5 (good)

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