Unpregnant, the recently released film, struck out to us for a few reasons: the central theme of friendship, the hilarious road trip pandemonium, and the fact that the heroine is actively pursuing an abortion. It’s not an easy subject to broach, but writers Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan handle it deftly. It’s a fun book with an important viewpoint, and now, dear reader, HBO Max is adapting it into a film!
Rachel Lee Goldenberg co-wrote and directed Unpregnant, a 2020 American female buddy road comedy-drama film. The film is based on Ted Caplan and Jenni Hendriks’ novel of the same name.
What is There in Unpregnant
Veronica Clarke, 17, takes a pregnancy test at school and is stopped by Bailey Butler, her former best friend, who notices that the result is positive. Bailey first offers to give a ride to a clinic where she can obtain an abortion if she needs one, without knowing who it is. After that, she figures Veronica will retain the baby and disposes of the test.
Veronica resolves to get an abortion, only to learn that in Missouri, it is illegal to do so without parental approval. She swiftly devises a strategy to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where clinics will perform abortions without parental consent, but she lacks the financial means to complete the journey.
When she meets up with her boyfriend Kevin, she is taken aback when he proposes to her after learning of her pregnancy. He also admits that he saw the condom was broken. Veronica appears to be interested in the proposal and accepts the ring.
She then approaches Bailey, who offers to transport her to Albuquerque. Veronica tries to pawn her engagement ring at their first stop, but Kevin, who has been following her, intervenes. When the sympathetic pawnshop broker learns that Veronica needs the money for an abortion, he agrees to buy her ring.
Veronica and Bailey travel to Texas, but they have a falling out over their previous friendship, which Bailey fails to comprehend stems from her father’s disapproval of her geeky activities as a youngster.
Bailey is startled by the entrance of local sheriffs while stopping at a restaurant. Her mother’s boyfriend owns the automobile they’re driving, she explains. When a fellow client named Jarrod causes a commotion, the females manage to elude notice. Later, Jarrod offers them a ride and introduces them to Matthews, a racing car driver who offers to drop them off at the nearest bus station.
It comes out to be a lady, and Bailey is instantly drawn to her. Bailey then comes out as a lesbian and kisses Matthews for the first time. A young couple overhearing their need for a ride to Albuquerque offers to drive them all the way there before Matthews can get them to the station.
When Bailey and Veronica arrive at the couple’s home in the morning, they realise that they are pro-lifers trying to prevent Veronica from getting the abortion. They are able to flee the couple’s grasp by taking their GMC Yukon and pretending to die.
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Who is in the Cast?
Haley Lu Richardson played the role of Veronica Clarke
She is an actress from the United States. Following early appearances on Disney Channel sitcoms. Valerie, a marketing and branding specialist, and Forrest L. Richardson, a golf course architect, gave birth to Haley Lu Richardson on March 7, 1995, in Phoenix, Arizona. Richardson went to Arcadia High School after finishing middle school at Villa Montessori. She was a frequent in regional dance competitions and theatre plays in the Southwest. She was a principal dancer with Phoenix’s Cannedy Dance Company from 2001 to 2011. She relocated to Hollywood, California, in 2011.
Giancarlo Esposito played the role of Bob
She is an actor from the United States. He is best recognised for his role as Gus Fring in the AMC crime thriller Breaking Bad and its predecessor Better Call Saul. In 1968, Esposito made his Broadway debut opposite Shirley Jones in the short-lived musical Maggie Flynn, which was set during the 1863 New York Draft Riots. He was also a member of the young cast of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince’s Merrily We Roll Along, which had 16 performances and 56 previews before closing in 1981.
Barbie Ferreira played the role of Bailey Butler
She is a model and actress from the United States. She is well recognised for her appearance in the HBO series Euphoria as Kat Hernandez. Ferreira was born in Queens, New York City, and eventually relocated to Maywood, New Jersey. She was a Hackensack High School student. Ferreira was reared by her mother, aunt, and grandmother and is of Luso-Brazilian descent. Her mother and grandmother also worked in the restaurant industry. She is openly LGBT, and she is in a relationship with Elle Puckett as of 2019.
Sugar Lyn Beard played the role of Kate
Sugar Lyn Beard, best known by her stage name, is a Canadian actress and radio personality. Her radio presenter identity is “Suga BayBee,” and she was known as “Sugar” on YTV’s The Zone from 2001 until 2007. Beard was born in the Canadian city of Scarborough. Her persona Suga BayBee was a regular on Toronto radio station KISS 92.5’s Mad Dog and Billie morning programme. When Beard was 19 years old and working as a sales clerk, his squeaky-voiced persona first appeared on KISS.
Betty Who played the role of Kira Matthews
Betty Who is an Australian-American singer and songwriter who goes by the stage name Betty Who. She signed with RCA Records and released her debut studio album, Take Me When You Go, after independently releasing her breakthrough single, “Somebody Loves You” and her debut extended play, The Movement. Her rendition of “I Love You Always Forever” landed within the top 10 in Australia and hit the top of the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in the United States on her second studio album, The Valley.
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If Unpregnant had leaned in a little more to this irony, its Black characters may not have felt so distant from reality. Overall, Unpregnant’s off-putting racial overtones made me want for more current depictions of Black people seeking abortions in cinema, since their geographical and economic status sometimes obstruct their ability to terminate pregnancies as well.