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The Independent Critic

Leah McKendrick, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Santino, Clancy Brown
Leah McKendrick
Rated R
97 Mins.

 Movie Review: Scrambled 
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It can be a dangerous thing for a filmmaker to attempt the cinematic tapestry of humor, humanity, and heart. Truthfully, I've seen it fail more often than not. Yet, that's exactly what first-time writer/director Leah McKendrick is going for with her inspired and entertaining Scrambled, an upcoming Lionsgate release finding its power in McKendrick's tale of Nellie (McKendrick), a quintessential bridesmaid constantly finding herself between weddings, baby showers, and bad dates. You can practically feel the wear and tear it has on her heart, though she hides behind the love for her friends and an abundance of truly terrific one-liners. 

However, when Nellie starts to feel like the clock is ticking and her romantic prospects are bleak at best, Nellie makes the decision to freeze her eggs. Thus begins a journey you may be expecting, however, thanks to McKendrick's intelligent and genuinely funny script it's a journey that both moves and entertains us. 

With Scrambled, McKendrick takes a personal story, the film is based upon McKendrick's own freezing of her eggs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and makes it feel both intimate and universal. Scrambled feels personal, though it feels personal in a way that includes rather than excludes. Perhaps best known as the writer for the massively underrated M.F.A., McKendrick has crafted a film here that at times genuinely aches and other times dances on the raunchfest line. 

I mean, seriously. That's life. 

Nellie's family support is minimal at best - her father (Clancy Brown) is more than a little chauvinistic and her brother, Jesse (Andrew Santino), is clearly the family favorite despite having his own wealth of unresolved issues. Scenes with best friend Sheila (Ego Nwodim) are film highlights, brimming with outlandishness yet also a genuine connection that makes these two seem like true BFFs. 

While the perfect balance isn't quite always achieved, Scrambled has some serious things to say about societal expectations, double-standards, cultural biases, and much more along the way. Somehow, imperfect seems perfect as McKendrick makes us laugh so much that we don't always realize just how much we're feeling until moments later when the emotional impact wallops. 

McKendrick is an absolute gem here along with tremendous turns from Ego Nwodim and Clancy Brown. The film had its world premiere at SXSW and should have no problem finding an audience in both its limited theatrical release and once it hits streaming platforms. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic