There’s something radical at the heart of “Unexpected,” director/co-writer Kris Swanberg’s third feature. Samantha (Cobie Smulders), 30, a dedicated white science teacher working in a soon-to-be-shuttered inner city Chicago high school, and one of her favorite students, Jasmine (newcomer Gail Bean), a talented senior, African American, discover their unplanned pregnancies around the same time.
While Samantha and Jasmine develop a sweet and genuine friendship, sharing prenatal yoga classes and junk food, Samantha’s best of intentions don’t bridge the cultural gap. Ignoring white privilege, she’s ultimately unaware of how different the same situation is in their different lives. What Jasmine needs, wants, can afford (in all senses of the word), aren’t what Samantha wants for her. Samantha doesn’t “save” Jasmine. The younger woman, clever and determined, draws on her own resources.
“Unexpected” will open on Friday, July 24 at the Village East Cinema and will be available On Demand and on iTunes.