Although in the past 12 months we have had two films detailing the very subject that Nathalie Morales navigates her directorial debut, Plan B, this does not mean that his efforts are diminished in any way. The comedy of friends Not pregnant and the obsessive realist Never Rarely Sometimes Always both highlighted the difficulty of adolescent girls in accessing health care regarding their abortion rights. It’s so often a case of different laws for each state, which makes women’s seemingly comedic efforts all the more serious.
The opening moments of Plan B remember Olivia Wilde’s sexually positive comedy Booksmart, with this movie’s best friends, Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and Lupe (Victoria Moroles), both in the throws to get to their libidos. Sunny’s strict mother and insistence on enforcing Indian traditions, and Lupe’s father being a pastor who doesn’t seem to understand her fashion aesthetic, mean they’re already at a disadvantage when it comes to any kind of sexual freedom. Nothing that an impromptu little party at home won’t solve, however.
At school, the duo are about as popular as expected, not endlessly intimidated but (not) noticed enough to be taunted by the typical blonde archetypes throwing their best insults in the gym class locker rooms, only for Lupe retorts with humor. fashion; this exchange is just one of the quick and biting gems of the Joshua Levy/Prathiksha Srinivasan-penned script provided. Life at school isn’t that dark, as a rather hilarious sexual setting involving a dated video – a video where a woman’s private parts are compared to that of an automobile – allows Sunny and her crush by far Hunter (Michel Provost) to share a moment, something Lupe uses to convince the currently unattended Sunny to throw a party, intending Hunter to be the main guest of honor.
Understandably, the party doesn’t quite go as planned, and angry with what she assumes, Hunter walks off with one of the mean girls, has an unfortunate first sex with a classmate, realizing the next morning the used condom remained inside her all night. Let’s go to take the Plan B pill, they go. Except no. Refusing to sell to underage girls under his own “conscience clause”, the local pharmacist (Jay chandrasekhar) pushes the irritable Lupe and the increasingly worried Sunny away, leading them to their most desperate option: the road trip.
With their nearest planned pregnancy store about a three-hour drive away, Sunny and Lupe “borrow” Sunny’s mother’s minivan and embark on their ominous journey, with a questionable GPS and a shady drug dealer that two of the obstacles they unexpectedly face along the way; the aforementioned drug dealer streak resulting in one of the film’s biggest laughs due to one of his “biggest” gags on sight – the emphasis on the gag.
While Plan Bthe script still relies on the expected tropes – the inevitable fight between two supposedly strong friends and the representational factor of one of them being queer – the organic nature of the proceedings and the fact that Morales has a very clear understanding of the navigation in its narrative means. the film is still inherently watchable. It is also very beneficial that Verma and Moroles share a chemistry that suggests these girls are friends rather than just actresses playing friends.
As is the case with most road trip movies, the destination ultimately doesn’t really matter, the journey, both literally and metaphorically, being the primary focus. It’s a familiar map in use, but behind the driver’s seat, Morales takes us on a new route on which we’re more than happy to be passengers.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Plan B is now streaming on Hulu.