Raunchy and relevant, hilarious and heartwarming, Hulu released a sex-positive teen comedy which deals with today’s debate regarding women’s reproductive health with its new movie “Plan B.” The ruthless writing will have you dying of laughter and falling in love with the protagonist Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and her best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles) as they go on a haywire hunt for the morning after pill. They have to race the clock. They venture from the conservative confines of South Dakota pharmacies to a Planned Parenthood in Rapid City to ensure Sunny’s first sexual experience doesn’t turn from regrettable to a worst-case scenario.
Since both the main characters heir from traditional, reserved families with overbearing single parents, Sunny’s overachieving Indian mother and Lupe’s church-centered Mexican-American father have seriously suppressed the sex talk for their hormonal teenage daughters. Naturally, when Sunny’s mother leaves the house for the weekend, the BFFs decide to throw a rager in the hopes that their crushes will show up and each of the girls will embark on their own magical sexual escapades. When things don’t go according to plan, as they often don’t in formulaic comedies such as this one, chaos ensues and straight-laced Sunny is sent into shock after her awkward bathroom hook-up becomes the catalyst of this story.
By splicing together the comedic stylings of films like “Superbad” and “We’re the Millers,” with female-led teenage experience movies such as “Booksmart” and “Edge of Seventeen,” “Plan B” pulls in all of the memorable elements of both genres to create an entertaining outlook on the sometimes painfully awkward reality of being a teenage girl in today’s world. It takes on a different form, though, with a unique strand of advocacy running through it. This film not only projects a sex-positive message for young women that is typically only seen in male-led films, but it also displays the real and incredibly ridiculous public policy regarding young women’s access to reproductive healthcare. Due to an actual South Dakota clause, Sunny and Lupe are sent spiraling on their grand, though inconvenient, road trip simply because the pharmacist personally didn’t feel comfortable selling Plan B to someone under 18 and could be justified in doing so under the “conscience clause.”
This scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, as it strikes panic and fierce determination into the hearts of the leading ladies, Verma and Moroles, which paves the way for star-making performances. Their characters could not be more opposite, but the chemistry is evident. Beyond the writing, the viewers see both young women blossom and seemingly come into themselves as the narrative snowballs. Sunny and Lupe are quick-witted, resourceful, raw and compassionate to each other. The stakes of their situation are portrayed masterfully as the girls are challenged by their individual demons. Sunny, described by the token mean girls of her high school as “an American Girl doll” whose only exposure to sex is found in her anatomy book, fanatsizes a skewed reality of the subject as a result of her coddled upbringing and wary nature. Lupe rejects school and favors a more reckless attitude with an all-black wardrobe and a vape in hand at all times, but the audience later learns she is uncomfortable with her sexuality. Different, but undoubtedly relatable struggles for all young people today, Verma and Moroles deliver authentic vulnerability and unwavering dedication to raising each other up in the face of opposition.
A strong film which tastefully guarantees an entertaining tale with an important underlying message, “Plan B” uses its rambunctious comedy and charming stars to contribute to the conversation of the state of women’s accessibility to healthcare. This film rings loud and clear the fear of the unknown as teens are growing, learning and making a way for themselves in the world. It brings to light the confusion that is intensified through a lack of support, insufficient sex education and the inability to make decisions for their bodies. “Plan B” will make you laugh, make you think and make you excited to see these young women hit the screens again.
“Plan B” is now streaming on Hulu.