If you love stories about complicated friendships and action-packed road trips, then the trailer for HBO Max's new movie Unpregnant is sure to be right up your alley. Adapted from Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan's young adult novel of the same name, the story centers around 17-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) who finds her promising college-bound future slipping away when she discovers that she's pregnant. With nowhere else to turn, Veronica enlists the help of her ex-best friend, Bailey (Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira), who agrees to give her a ride to New Mexico so that she can become un-pregnant. (If that isn't a new kind of road trip movie, what is?) However, the three-day road trip leads to some very unexpected obstacles, including run-ins with the law and some social media missteps.
Alongside Richardson and Ferreira in the title roles, the movie also stars Alex MacNicoll, Breckin Meyer, Giancarlo Esposito, Sugar Lyn Beard, pop star Betty Who, Mary McCormack, among others. Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon, Arrow, Riverdale), Erik Feig, and Sarah Schechter (You, Riverdale) serve as producers, while Emmy-winner Rachel Lee Goldenberg (Valley Girl, A Deadly Adoption, The Mindy Project) directed the film. Unpregnant is slated to hit the streaming platform on Thursday, Sept. 10, and even though you might not be able to watch it with your BFF IRL, you might want to start planning for some kind of virtual watch party, because this is a movie you're not going to want to watch alone.
It may seem odd for a teenage abortion road trip movie to be branded as a comedy, but as the trailer indicates, this film has equal parts heart and humor that makes it a unique beast all on its own, which is what drew the stars to the project in the first place.
“I hope it starts conversation,” Richardson told Entertainment Weekly during a recent interview. "You want to invite people that support the decisions that Veronica made in the movie, but you want to also invite people that disagree or have a different belief or viewpoint. I want families to watch this movie together, young girls to watch this movie, young couples to watch this movie and feel invited to talk about sex education and to talk about relationships.”
And while it's completely justifiable to have a serious topic take on a more serious approach, it can also prove to be an exciting challenge to set a different tone for audiences to absorb. “We’ve seen films about abortion that are really hard, and they just tug on your heartstrings, and they’re very traumatic,” Ferreira added during the same EW interview. “I love those films, but I also wanted to see something where it normalizes it. It normalizes the choice and the decisions that people have over their bodies.”
Meanwhile, Goldenberg hopes the film will continue to raise awareness and serve as a reminder about why it's so important for women to have access to safe and legal abortion clinics all across the globe. “I want there to be less shame and stigma around the topic of abortion,” she told the outlet. “I want to educate people on the problematic existing laws and also demystify the abortion procedure. I’m not sure if one movie can do everything I want it to do, but it’s not going to stop us from trying.”
And if that isn't a good enough incentive to watch the film, then what the heck is?