It was just the other day when Eliza Hittman (that’s a woman) gave us the profoundly immersive Never Rarely Sometimes Always, about two girls travelling to a pro-abortion state in America after one of them gets pregnant in a state that does not permit it. They have nowhere to stay in New York. Their desperation was deeply disturbing. Well, look at the coincidence! Another film about two girls travelling to a place where abortions are allowed when one of them gets morning sickness. To be honest, this loud, rumbustious bad-girls version of Hittman’s sensitive film left me queasy and stricken.
The two protagonists on a rowdy road trip are so obnoxious that I just wanted to slap them when it got too much. The pregnant girl Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) has a caring boyfriend ready to marry her. But she thinks he is a jerk. If so, why did she allow him to impregnate her? The vagaries of the teens, I tell you! Veronica’s companion on this mission to abort is Bailey (Barnie Ferreira), a feisty and fun-filled overweight do-gooder who knows she’s being used by her best friend as a travelling companion.
While Veronica has baby issues, Bailey has daddy issues. We, the audience have attention issues. The ride is bumpy but buoyant, at least for the two girls. I wish it was the same for the audience. Watching the two girl pals screaming at each other and encountering all sorts of eccentric characters on the way (including an anti-abortion couple that behaves like characters out of a Ramsay horror movie) is nerve-grating after a point.
The one good thing about abortion is that it prevents bringing into the world raucous and uncontrollable children like the above. Unpregnant would have been less intolerable if it had come before Never Rarely Sometimes Always. With the earlier film completely stealing the March Unpregnant looks like a wannabe-cool take on pregnancy and abortion with characters who are planted in the plot to look conspicuously overloaded. The two female leads are better than the material they are given. They make the best of a lousy bargain.