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average rating is 4 out of 5


George Wolf


Posted on:

Jan 31, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Leah McKendrick
Written by:
Leah McKendrick
Leah McKendrick, Clancy Brown

There’s an old adage about comedians making up jokes to hide real pain. It’s clear that for writer/director/star Leah McKendrick, there’s a very real struggle at the heart of Scrambled, and her film is better for not letting us forget that.


McKendrick plays Nellie, a 34 year-old perennial bridesmaid who clings to the “single bitches 4 life!” mantra, even as more members of her crew (including SNL’s Ego Nwodim and the always welcome June Diane Raphael) start settling down and getting pregnant.


Nellie has to face up to some harsh biological facts. Her mind and body can remain ready to mingle – but her fertility has a shelf life and the clock is ticking. So while she auditions a string of suitors from “The Nice Guy” to “The Prom King” to simply “Nope,” Nellie consults a amusingly deadpan doctor (Feodor Chin) about freezing her eggs.


Or, as Nellie’s Dad (a priceless Clancy Brown) calls it, “millennial feminist voodoo.”


McKendrick scores some big laughs with the family’s reaction to Nellie’s family planning, but this is an an issue that is very real for the first time feature director, and plenty of women like her. And beneath the jokes about Nellie’s dating habits and her parents’ longing for the return of her ex, McKendrick makes sure we see Nellie in fully formed terms.


She’s a grown ass woman choosing when and how she may want to have children. And in doing so, Nellie’s forced to navigate the social, physical, and financial barriers that can leave her feeling punished for embracing her own journey.


But Nellie moves forward – with both smiles and middle fingers. McKendrick’s recipe for Scrambled finds a nice balance of flavors, and we get a full-flavored dish of empowering humor.

About the Film Critic
George Wolf
George Wolf
Theatrical Release
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