“Obvious Child”: Trying to find the laughs in “shmashmortion”

obviouschild

“Obvious Child” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:23, two stars out of four.

I like Jenny Slate a lot. The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member is pretty bold about playing larger-than-life, often spectacularly unlikable characters, such as Jean-Ralphio’s sister on “Parks and Recreation.”

Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” is a great showcase for Slate’s voice while giving her a more down-to-earth character to play. The banter is often fast and filthy, but still finds room for an underlying sweet tone. But the film’s fearlessness trips itself up when it moves into hot-button territory — abortion — and tries to maintain the same jokey say-anything spirit.

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