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Monday, May 23, 2022
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    ‘Unpregnant’ Review: Friendship Is a Long and Winding Road

    Unpregnant is a movie that is based on former besties who reunite for a road trip. This teen buddy comedy was released in 2020, which was the second movie that year to showcase young women crossing state lines for an abortion.

    After “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” which was released in 2020, “Unpregnant” was the second film to be released the same year to feature a pair of teenage women who crossed state lines to obtain an abortion. In both the movies, as in real life, the characters’ home states mandate parental consent for minors, but in contrast to that earlier, “Unpregnant” is a quite distressing story that takes this real-world issue as the premise to create an energetic buddy comedy.

    The film, which streamed on HBO Max, follows Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson), a girl who is a strait-laced overachiever, later discovers that she’s pregnant in the bathroom of her Missouri high school. As she was able to see the future of her feeding in front of her eyes, she had nothing to do but to go for an abortion. As she had a treacherous boyfriend and no car, to go to the closest clinic which was 900 miles away, the only person that came to her mind was her ex-best friend, Bailey, as the sole witness to her test being positive is her one-time best friend, the plucky, punky Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), who happens upon the private moment. They both decided to keep her pregnancy a secret, from both the gossipy social scene and her religious parents. As she plan for the abortion she later came to know that it was forbidden in Missouri so she had to travel thousands of miles and order to go to the closest clinic where the abortion was allowed. Later, Veronica enlists Bailey on a drive to their closest clinic that results in taking her, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The road trip reacquainted the girls, who have drifted apart in recent years but retain the chummy habits and also the easy rapport of old pals. There can be seen the traces of “Booksmart” and, preceding that, “Superbad” in their silly, often improbably reckless adventure, which was full of ups and downs, as they ditch the vehicle Bailey admits that she nicked it from her mom’s boyfriend. The route was full of darkly funny humor which also included the small and big issues going on around, and as they traveled the road trip they also rediscovered their lost friendship. 

    “Unpregnant,” was directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg. This movie never quite reaches the sharp comic style of those other raucous movies, but that’s what distinguishes itself in its destination. As the girls went on their journey, it’s quite understandable to read their absurd snafus as a metaphor for the obstacles and the problems which are faced by the teenagers during their adolescence to women’s health care. The movie covered quite a few topics which also included small and big issues going around.

    Still, restricted access to abortion is less a topic to grapple with in “Unpregnant” than a given in its world.  Other than one particular outburst, the movie actually kind of declines to moralize correctly, as its driving force may seem very much topical, but the story’s heart is quite timeless, that is the harmony between longtime friends, and Veronica and Bailey finding themselves into even the most fraught situations along with some giddy enthusiasm. Well, but the movie was liked by many people as the comedy-drama also managed to include some issues that are faced by the teenagers during their adolescence.

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