PLAN B is one that you don’t want to miss!
PLAN B (2021)
Teen pregnancy movies aren’t rarities these days. Just last year we had Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Unpregnant. For some throwbacks we have Juno (2007) and Where The Heart Is (2000). Plan B seemed like it followed the same trend, albeit without the full blown pregnancy issue. I love a good teenage comedy so I was eager to check out Plan B.
I’m familiar with Natalie Morales as an actor. She’s been on a slew of television shows like Parks and Recreation, Girls, Dead to Me, and Santa Clarita Diet. She’s directed only one other feature film which flew way under the radar. Plan B was a very solid directorial turn for Morales. She handled the content well and the pacing of the movie never lagged. Morales is still getting her feet wet with directing so there wasn’t anything that stood out with Plan B. The style was very straight forward but she hit all the right beats and kept the story flowing in an entertaining way. Overall I’m very excited to see what Morales directs next because I foresee her only getting better from here.
The story of Plan B is nothing novel or new but it’s executed well. Sunny is a straight-laced teenager who never breaks the rules and has a tough mom who expects a lot from her. Sunny’s best friend is Lupe who is kind of a slacker. The girls wind up throwing a party at Sunny’s house while her mom is out of town. When Sunny’s crush Hunter leaves the party with a popular girl, an emotional Sunny winds up having sex. After an unfortunate condom incident Sunny and Lupe go on a quest to find Plan B to avoid any chance of getting pregnant. Of course chaos ensues as the girls are met with obstacles at every turn. The plot is predictable at some points but it includes some twists you might not expect and touches on so many issues like race, sexuality, reproductive rights, and familial tensions.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
While the plot is nothing novel, what makes the movie work so well is the acting. In particular the chemistry between the main characters, Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and Lupe (Victoria Moroles). Verma and Moroles really nail these roles. They are funny and you really believe they are best friends. Their relationship never once feels forced and you laugh at their antics as they navigate being teenagers. Verma in particular was hysterical. In one scene she takes speed and her physical comedy was phenomenal. Moroles is no slouch either bringing an earnestness and emotional depth to a role that could have easily turned sour. The back and forth banter of the girls will remind you of Booksmart (2019) but I honestly think Verma and Moroles are a tad bit funnier.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
This is a teen comedy so there isn’t much in the vein of visual effects. But the design and make-up fit the characters and the story well. Lupe’s make-up in particular made an impact on the story and forced you to notice her right away. Sunny’s wardrobe was also spot on and these small visual cues helped to weave the story together and bring the characters to life.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The music for Plan B was fitting but it didn’t stand out to me the way it could have. The songs were catchy enough but there was nothing that made me want to find the soundtrack on Spotify. This isn’t a fair comparison but let me just say this soundtrack doesn’t have anything on the soundtrack for Booksmart. It still has some solid musical choices though that add to the fun energy of the movie.
Plan B was a surprising win for me. I really enjoyed this one. The acting stole the show and made the whole movie work. I was impressed by director Natalie Morales’ ability to hit on so many important issues in ways that felt authentic and real. Plan B brings the comedic moments but finds the balance between being funny and still having heart. The girls go on an emotional journey that is absolutely absurd but somehow still fun to watch. As far as teen pregnancy movies go, Plan B is one that you don’t want to miss!
PLAN B premieres on May 28th on Hulu.