“Unpregnant” a modern day buddy comedy with a twist


Ursula Coyote

Veronica Clarke (Haley Lu Richardson) is a teenage girl who becomes pregnant and embarks on a road trip with her former best friend to become “unpregnant” as the title suggests. Courtesy of Warner Media.

“Unpregnant” is a edgy teen comedy that follows two young women as they take a road trip across state lines in order to get an abortion. 

The film stars Haley Lu Richardson who plays straight-edged, overachiever Veronica Clarke. Veronica discovers she is pregnant in the bathroom of her Missouri high school. The only witness of Veronica’s positive test result is her estranged former best friend, Bailey Butler, played by Barbie Ferreira. 

Veronica quickly realizes she is not ready to have a child and is desperate to find a way to get an abortion without her parents knowing. New Mexico is her only option so the two girls embark on a road trip to become “unpregnant.” The film quickly turns into something of a modern day “Thelma and Louise” (1991) as the two rekindle their lost friendship and find themselves in several sticky situations. 

Haley Lu Richardson (left) and Barbie Ferreira (right) star in “Unpregnant” the new film streaming on HBO Max. Courtesy of Warner Media. Photography by Ursula Coyote.

This is not Ferreira’s first appearance on the big screen. The actress may be best known for her role as Kat in the 2019 HBO series “Euphoria.” Ferreira continues her streak of excellence as she dominates her role as the punky rebel, Bailey. Bailey is a troubled girl that is exploring her place in this world and she stumbles into several personal demons over the course of the road trip which Ferreira effortlessly delivers. Ferreira keeps the audience glued to the screen with her big grin and infectious laugh. She may not be the main character but she can’t help but steal the show from her co-star. 

As well as being mostly a buddy comedy film, “Unpregnant” does have a much bigger and deeper story to tell. At its core, the film is about the lengths a young girl has to go through in order to get an abortion. Since Veronica is only 17 years old and is fearful to ask her religious parents for help, she is left with no choice but to drive through several states to be able to see a doctor. 

Veronica’s frustration with the laws in her state are expressed during her monologue in which she ends with cursing the Missouri state legislature after nothing seems to be going according to plan and all hope seems lost. 

The film showcases many contemporary struggles women face regarding their reproductive rights. Courtesy of Warner Media. Photography by Ursula Coyote.

Although abortion is far from a joke, the film’s light-hearted approach to the controversial topic works.he film never discredits the seriousness of the subject and brings light to the legal and political challenges that some women really do face outside of the film. 

Director Rachel Lee Goldenburg made quite a pivot from her 1980s musical film “Valley Girl.” Goldenburg no doubt took a risk in “Unpregnant” that paid off for her in the end. I would recommend this film to anyone wanting to watch a witty yet relevant film that will definitely leave you thinking about the women’s health laws in your area. “Unpregnant” is available to stream on HBO Max. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Sophia Pearson can be reached at [email protected] or @sophia__pearson on Twitter.