Review by Camden Ferrell
Films such as 2019’s Booksmart and 2020’s Unpregnant have shown that this is the time for thoughtful women-led teen comedies. The directorial debut of actress Natalie Morales, Plan B, looks to continue this trend. Featuring some star-making performances, this movie is a funny and raunchy road trip film that tells a relevant story.
Sunny is a smart and straight-arrow high schooler who decides to throw a party when her mom is away. At the party, she has an awkward first sexual experience that could have potentially left her pregnant. With her best friend, Lupe, she must quickly track down a Plan B pill in a conservative area of Midwest South Dakota. This premise doesn’t do anything too original, but it is a fun and relatable premise with a lot of great opportunities for comedy.
Written by Joshua Levy and Prathiksha Srinivasan, the script is fast-paced and quite witty. It does a great job of exaggerating the vulgarity of high school life without turning it into a caricature of itself. There are some lines that don’t fit in, and there are a little too many pop culture references, but it remarkably captures the awkwardness of high school and first sexual experiences.
One of the most memorable aspects of this film is its performances. Kuhoo Verma leads the film as Sunny, and she brings a lot of charm and heart to the film. Her performance subverts stereotypes of her character, and she develops into an awkwardly over the top character who we love to root for. Victoria Moroles plays Lupe, and she has great chemistry with Verma while also being unfathomably witty and charismatic on her own. Both of these women give star-making performances and deserve a lot of recognition for bringing these characters to life.
Even though the execution doesn’t feel particularly special, Natalie Morales is confident in her candid portrayal of adolescence in this film. It gets surprisingly raunchy and graphic at times, and Morales fearlessly approaches these scenes, and it does wonders for the movie’s enjoyability. There are still some pacing problems, and the final act of the film does fall flat at times though. Regardless, it’s a promising directorial debut for an already talented actress.
I think this is yet another film that is very sex-positive in its approach to its story, and it’s great to see movies strip away the stigma around sex. It is very honest in exploring teenage sexuality without ever coming close to exploiting it, and it’s a delicate balance that allows the movie to be simultaneously funny and relatable.
As mentioned before this movie has its problems with pacing and some misfires in dialogue, but it ultimately packs an emotional punch and features some utterly wacky scenarios on the road. It skirts the line between believable and chaotic, and it’s all the better for it.
Plan B is a road-trip comedy that teenagers and adults will enjoy and relate to. The two main actresses deliver some great breakout performances, and it’s a fun film that is equal parts raunchy and relevant.
Plan B is available on Hulu May 28.