*Spoiler Alert: the following review contains major spoilers for the film Plan B.*
From director Natalie Morales comes Plan B, a quirky and hilariously charming film that feels like a cross between the classic Superbad and ScarJo’s Rough Night. The comedy film follows Sunny and Lupe, two best friends who embark on a wild adventure after Sunny has a drunken (and rather unfortunate) sexual encounter with one of her classmates at a party. Determined to track down a surprisingly elusive Plan B pill in the rural and conservative land of South Dakota, the two girls’ experiences range from insanely weird circumstances to poignant moments of emotional connection.
It’s no secret that this particular genre of film has been done countless times before. Everyone is familiar with the “teens go nuts at a high school party” trope, as well as the “road trip where crazy stuff is happening all the time” theme. Although Plan B may follow a formula that is all-too familiar in the comedy film industry, the funny characters and original plot still offer something refreshing and new.
Take a look at the two main characters, for instance. Sunny is an incredibly smart Indian girl with a strict mother, perfect grades, and the obligation to fulfill impossible expectations. While the premise of Sunny’s character may align with many other stereotypical Indian characters, she stands out from the rest by showing real personality and character development throughout the film. Also, how often do we get to see an Indian actress in a lead role? Much like Devi Vishwakumar from Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever series on Netflix, Sunny (portrayed by Kuhoo Verma) is a very well-rounded character that goes beyond the typical and one-dimensional “smart and studious Indian” character.
Sunny’s best friend Lupe, played by actress Victoria Moroles, is a Mexican girl who comes from a strict family and has a strained relationship with her father. She is revealed to be gay later on in the film, in a rather surprising (and well-planned) twist. In the first half of the film, Lupe talks a lot about her romantic partner Logan. Sunny, in conjunction with us viewers, is led to believe that Logan is a boy, only to discover later on that Logan is actually a girl. While this twist is a welcome surprise, it also brings up the complicated matter of why Lupe kept this part of her identity a secret from Sunny. This part of the plot leads into the larger overall themes of friendship, understanding, and life in a small and conservative town.
Characters aside, this film’s plot and writing is funny as hell. From Sunny’s awkward sexual encounter with her extremely Christian classmate to the girls’ entanglement with a sketchy drug dealer who has a giant piercing in his dick (yes, you see the whole thing in all of its mentally scarring glory), the ups and downs of the plot are highlighted by both raunchy comedy and emotional bonding between the two best friends. There are several laugh-out-loud moments throughout, but the final scenes of the film in particular stand out because of their heavy sentimental themes.
Honestly, up until the end of the film, I had written this movie off as being too similar to other teen comedies. While the “looking for a Plan B pill” plot hasn’t been done before (as far as I know), I felt like the crazy antics and shenanigans that occur on the girls’ road trip were too similar to other films of the same nature. However, the conclusion of Plan B brilliantly tied together the more serious themes that are included in the film. When Sunny and Lupe finally arrive at their long-awaited destination of Planned Parenthood, three hours away from their hometown, they discover that it has actually been closed the entire time. Sunny breaks down in the empty parking lot, with the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy weighing down on her. It’s a heartbreaking and emotional moment, accented by Sunny’s tearful confession that she wants her mom, the very person who the girls had been trying to keep from knowing about what happened.
Overall, this film is definitely worth a watch. If Superbad was remade with female characters in the leading roles, it would be pretty close to Plan B. The characters have great chemistry with each other, and the various challenges that they have to overcome during their wild trip are laugh-out-loud funny at times. However, the reason I don’t give the film a higher score is because it has a low chance of rewatchability. While the film was overall enjoyable and worth recommending to friends, I can’t say with confidence that I would watch it a second time; it lacks the type of appeal that makes you want to watch a film over and over again. To conclude, if you’re looking for a funny movie to complete a girls night out or wanting some sleepover entertainment, Plan B can be the perfect fit.