Review: Raunchy teen comedy 'Plan B' brings the laughs and heart
Courtesy of Hulu
One thing that can’t be replicated from streaming at home is the shared communal experience of taking in a new comedy with a group of strangers who are all riding the same wavelength. Long before COVID-19 upended the theatrical distribution model, small, low budget comedies were getting beamed into living rooms without the added bonus of a theatrical exclusive run. With the exception of “Blockers” and “Good Boys” (and “Booksmart” sandwiched in between) most R-rated comedies are getting buried in endless catalogs of streaming libraries, fighting to be seen. So it’s a shame that anyone who wants to view Natalie Morales' raunchy, hilarious, and well performed “Plan B” will need a Hulu subscription. You might want to invite a few friends over, because you’ll be running to tell them about it afterwards anyway
An irrelevant, offbeat comedy from the people who watched “Superbad” or Oliva Wilde’s aforementioned “Booksmart” a few too many times, “Plan B” strikes an engaging balance between R-rated shenanigans and dramatic undertones as two high school besties in their small, covervative South Dakota town, try to procure a Plan B pill after an incredulous night of “doing the deed.” Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles rival that of Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever for best comedic dream team playing Sunny and Lupe, the dynamic duo who aren’t the most popular kids in high-school, but naturally are exploring their own sexual awakenings (the film opens with a character masterbating to a human anatomy textbook). Sunny’s strict single-mother (Jolly Abraham), a jovial real estate agent, has big plans for her daughter and runs a tight academic ship, leaving minimal room for screw-ups or romantic relationships. On the other hand, Lupe is quite the opposite, a free-flowing, black-lipstick wielding sexual anaconda who pushes Sunny to try new things and embarcess her sluttiness.
With senior year winding down and Sunny’s mother away for the weekend on business, the best friends throw a rager and end-up on different paths. Lupe wakes up with a massive hangover and Sunny, after being horny and eager to lose her virginity, is feeling guilty for having slept with the dorky Chrsitian youth group leader appropriately named Kyle (Mason Cook). Unfortunately for Sunny, the condom didn’t work as planned and the local pharmacist, based on his own personal beliefs (“Super Troopers” director Jay Chandrasekhar has a fun cameo here) refuses to sell the titular pill. Cue the cross-country road trip to Rapid City where all types of hijinks and chaos ensue on their way to a Planned Parenthood office.
From there, “Plan B” charts its own course with several hilarious (and perhaps some relatable) moments best shared among friends. The script from Joshua Levy and Prathiksha Srinivasan gives Verma and Moroles plenty of solid comedic moments that will propel them atop many casting executives list. The former had a small (but memorable) role in “The Big Sick” while the latter has done stints with MTV and Disney Channel, but “Plan B” is of its own breed: a showcase for these two promising young actresses.
“Plan B” dabbles with a variety of subplots and pushes the boundaries of full frontal male nudity while at the same time having an honest conversation about the fundamentals of female reproductive rights. Not all of the jokes land nor is most of them in good taste (which is expected) but Morales crafts a poignant and harmless debut feature anchored by an honest friendship. Remember Verma and Moroles because they, like their characters in the film, are going places.
Plan B debuts on Hulu Friday, May 28th.