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The Pill (2011)

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Worried that he has gotten the free-spirited Mindy pregnant after an unprotected one-night stand, Fred feigns romantic interest and sticks by her side for twelve hours to make sure she takes both doses of the morning-after pill.



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Worried that he has gotten the free-spirited Mindy pregnant after an unprotected one-night stand, Fred feigns romantic interest and sticks by her side for twelve hours to make sure she takes both doses of the morning-after pill.

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Some relationships are hard to swallow.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

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16 December 2011 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Hard to swallow for some, but not a burden for many
3 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a side note to big budget romantic comedies that are in favor of pumping up the idiocy and the incredulity in their scripts. Instead of being a mawkish and gooey portrayal of modern relationships, The Pill is another romantic comedy exploring the dangers and the repercussions of having a one night stand. This topic was also explored in Katie Astelon's directorial effort The Freebie in 2010, a rather ho-hum and middling effort in the area of infidelity. It seems The Pill has simple kinks ironed out more efficiently.

We are instantly introduced to Fred (Bean), a writer who despite having a tolerable relationship, seeks to have a one night stand with a woman he recently met while his girlfriend is on a trip. Fred hooks up with Mindy (Boston), a quirky, Zooey Deschanel-like woman, full of complexities and eccentricities. After having unprotected sex so quaintly, Fred foolishly assumes that Mindy is on the pill, when she is not. Stressed out and, after a hasty conversation involving ethics dictated by religion, Fred goes out to buy her the morning-after pill.

After she takes the one, Fred neglects to remember that the morning-after pill is two pills, one for as soon as intercourse is over and the other twelve hours later. Since Mindy was so troubled by taking the one, getting her to take the other seems like a mission impossible. Knowing that she is not the most trustworthy person, Fred winds up sticking around with Mindy for the next twelve hours to assure that she will take the pill. Inevitably, they become closer, but Fred also must remember the budding quandary he is facing with his current girlfriend, Nelly (Anna Chlumsky, the My Girl actress), a pushy, vindictive soul.

One of the film's funniest and brightest scenarios is when Mindy invites Fred over to her parents' house to celebrate her younger brother's birthday. Immediately, Fred has a contentious relationship with Mindy's father, who believes that he is unwise for not having a backup plan in case journalism fails him.

The Pill manages to do quite a few things right with its very concise runtime. It introduces us to three characters, whose lives will eventually change because of this seemingly innocuous one night stand. It also does the best to make the Fred character, a person who initially wouldn't be a smart choice to make the leading man because of his indecisive personality and rather unlikable first impression, into a relatable man we can feel for, while also projecting life into the other two women in the film. As for the "comedy" in the term "romantic comedy," it is mainly deadpan wit that audiences may or may not collectively resonate with. Exposure to programs like The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm, because of the quirky scenarios that inevitably erect a domino effect, could possibly help. Or just an open mind, with a craving for difference.

Director J.C. Khoury does a lot of great things with his first feature film, one of which is making the film avoid romantic comedy pitfalls such as glossy sentimentality, hardcore romanticism, and cinematic clichés, and also doesn't go for the extreme indie mumblecore style that could propel into heavy-handedness. This is simply a well made romantic comedy, sharp, lively, and full of enigma that will easily resonate with the audience and provide a healthy discussion afterwards.

Starring: Noah Bean, Rachel Boston, and Anna Chulmsky. Directed by: J.C. Khoury.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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