Film Review: Plan B

plan b indexThe second film directed by the all kinds of talented Natalie Morales (The Middlemen, Santa Clarita Diet, lots of other great stuff) this is a mix of coming of age and road trip movies and it’s a delightful effort too. Morales proves herself to be an assured hand behind the camera and gets a number of very strong performances out of her cast, the two leads especially convincing as life long friends.

Those two friends are Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and Lupe (Victoria Moroles) who are both kind of outcasts, the popular kids acknowledge their existence but mostly only to mock them, not that Lupe will take any shit for a second. The normally very shy Sunny is about to hold her first ever party however as her parent’s are out of town for the weekend, and hoping to hook up with her crush Hunter (Michael Provost) as well, but when he gives a drunk girl a lift home she ends up losing her virginity with remorseful religious classmate Kyle (Mason Cook).

The next morning to Sunny’s horror while urinating the condom emerges from her, and so she and Lupe rush down to the nearest chemist to get the Plan B contraceptive pill of the title. Unfortunately they live in one of the shittier parts of America where due to a conscience clause the pharmacist is able to refuse to sell her one, and so the two head off an adventure which sees them meet all manner of unusual and odd folk, some horrible but some surprisingly sweet.

It’s packed with memorable moments and every time it looks like Sunny and Lupe are going to encounter something rather shitty thankfully the film doesn’t go in that direction. So when they’re hit upon by two skeezy guys at a gas station who start acting in an unpleasant manner they’re saved by cashier Doris (Edi Patterson) who might be odd but she’s also very funny, and it’s a similar affair where when trying to buy fake ID from a dodgy drug dealer in a playground who suggests as they can’t afford money for it they can pay in another way, but just as Sunny is about to perform oral sex she backs off, catches his very large Prince Albert piercing in her hair and tears it out, which is grim and gross but also laugh out loud material too.

Lupe and Sunny’s friendship feels very real and their exchanges are sharp and sweet and provide the film with a very firm backbone indeed, and while it does have the cliched bit where they fall out thankfully it’s dealt with extremely quickly indeed. It’s great to see same sex relationships portrayed in such a positive way throughout the film, both platonically with Sunny and Lupe and sexually with Lupe and Logan (Myha’la Herrold), while Sunny’s burgeoning relationship with Hunter is nicely handled too, and here it’s once again pleasing to see that their flirtation leads to a very sweet moment.

As well as an impressively high number of funny scenes it’s a film with an awful lot of charm, and one with no exploitative nudity, something which sadly is all too rarely the case when it comes to teen comedies. Morales of course deserves lots of kudos for the majority of this but writers Joshua Levy, Prathiksha Srinivasan also deserve acclaim, all three are clearly filmmakers to keep a close eye on based on this, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

★★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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