Unpregnant: A Review

 Coming of age films are a staple in my life, I love building a connection with the characters and seeing their personal growth play out on screen. They’re largely relatable, but with that quality comes the overdone plot lines and endless love stories that have become tiresome. As a young woman growing up in America, where everything seems unsure and the threat of losing our rights is constantly looming over our heads, especially now with the passing of the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I need more from my media that a straight love story with a side of a random ivy league acceptance letter. Unpregnant unexpectedly checked my boxes and quickly became a film I recommend to everyone who will listen.

 An unlikely story of a high school senior, who is the definition of a ‘good girl’ gets pregnant. She has little options in her overly conservative town, with her very religious family so she sets out on a journey with her ex-best friend. They take a 900-mile road trip to the nearest clinic that can perform the abortion - all without their parents knowing and along the way we get to see two very different people rebuild a connection that feels more realistic than friendships I’ve seen in most other movies. The lead Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) and her best friend, Bailey (Barbie Ferreria) have insane chemistry and perfectly portray the relationship between two childhood friends who have ripped apart because of social status and the chase for popularity. We see the struggles, Veronica, trying to keep this mission a secret, and the joy of Bailey when she meets a girl and has a short but adorable connection with her, and even the moment when they told their parents the truth. 

This movie takes a million unexpected turns that I won’t spoil for you, but there’s a sense of authenticity that makes every outrages experience seem real. The supporting characters are not background characters in the slightest. Everyone they meet along the way is interesting and adds to the story and the only complaint is I wish we could see more of them. 

I really do love this movie, but the most important part for me is this is the first positive representation of abortion in media I’ve seen. Not in a way that encourages young girls to go and get an abortion without thinking about it. It shows the fear, and the rethinking as well as the moments of relief and triumph that comes with making the right decision for yourself. It showed the anxiety Veronica had about other people finding out, and ended with her being proud of herself and not ashamed and for me, that was the defining moment of the film. 

Unwanted and unexpected pregnancy is bound to happen, and while there are a few options that a chunk of society considers to be the ‘right’ choices, I feel its wildly important to show young women that if you choose to get an abortion it’s okay, there is nothing to be ashamed of and those who truly love you will still love you. We see this last part towards the end of the movie when Veronica faces her extremely religious mom for the first time and they have the difficult conversation - obviously being a very vocal pro-choice activist I had hoped her mom would completely change her mindset and fully support her daughter, but in a more understated and probably more realistic way, her mom is able to say while she doesn’t understand Veronica’s choices, and it wasn’t the choice she would’ve made. She will always love her daughter more than any of that. 

I believe this movie is a widely important coming of age movie that young women need to see. It’s not a cheesy love story or any other overused plotline you’ve seen, but a genuine story with real problems any of us could face with a much more important love - one between two best friends.