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It is a rare thing to find a fresh and profound storyteller who can so vividly capture the human experience. Can you remember how you felt when Lena Dunam unveiled Tiny Furniture, then Girls? Well Leah McKendrick pulls off a similar feat with Scrambled. A lively, irreverent R-rated comedy that she wrote, directed and stars in; the triple threat is smart, sharp-witted and funny. A comedic force of nature, her new single female-positive comedy is packed with great bon mots and moments of refreshing hilarity. This filmmaker bears watching.

Hollywood’s taken notice: After making several standout short films, McKendrick first burst onto the scene several years ago when she was hired to pen the Grease prequel movie Summer Lovin’ — yes, Danny and Sandy splashing around pre-senior year at Rydell High et al. Then came word that she’d be writing I Know What You Did Last Summer requel alongside director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. She’s also attached to direct and write TriStar’s reboot of the ’80s cult classic Troop Beverly Hills.

Taking the creative baton from one of today’s best directors working right now Greta Gerwig (Barbie), Girls Trip scribes Erica Rivinoja (The Last Man on Earth, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) Kenya Barris (Black-ish), Tracy Oliver (Harlem, First Wives Club) and passionate filmmaker Julia Ducournau (Raw, Titane), McKendrick puts a spin on the single-girl experience here — an outing based on her own real-life ordeals which translates into forever bridesmaid Nellie Robinson (McKendrick), who feels her biological clock ticking away. Concerned about her health and age, 30-something Nellie — like McKendrick in real life — decides to freeze her eggs. Hilarity ensues via self-deprecating humor and frustrating if not existential, observations. Think of Scrambled as another kind of romcom. This is a love story about a woman — and her eggs.

Scrambled also stars Ego Nwodim (SNL), Andrew Santino (Dave, Beef), Adam Rodriguez (Criminal Minds, Magic Mike’s Last Dance), Laura Cerón (Station 19) and Clancy Brown (What If, Billions). The plot finds Nellie hitting a breaking point after attending too many weddings and baby showers; BFF Sheila’s latest wedding and surprise pregnancy coupled with news that her eggs aren’t as healthy as they should be prompts her to take action.

It’s a big pivot for free-spirited Nellie. Her by-the-books brother Jesse (Andrew Santino) always lets her know she’s beneath him. Her father Richard (Clancy Brown) can’t muster empathy for Nellie’s existential malaise. And all of her friends seem to have been married off or are basking in pregnancy. There’s a great moment in the film when, after talking with a doctor about injecting herself with shots to prepare for egg fertilization at an IVF appointment, a baby shower guest asks Nellie what she’s “been up to?” She tells them she has decided to freeze her eggs, then quickly adds “Maybe I should have a baby shower.” Blank stares all around.

That’s just one of the winning things about Scrambled. McKendrick knows how to capture the frenzy of everyman — or, everywoman, we should say. She has this rare and wonderful ability to get what it means to be an underdog on a vulnerable journey filled with doubt. That thirst for visibility, understanding and the metaphorical finish line is something most people can relate to. And rather than go broad and way over-the-top in a Bridesmaids comedy sense, McKendrick keeps it real… while not forsaking that there will be micro eras in our lives where everything feels downright ridiculous.

Scrambled moves along at a brisk clip. It meanders a little bit in a more detailed middle section where Nellie’s freeze-the-eggs quest becomes more tangible, but interactions with family members, friends and even strange bedfellows are played out well. Throughout all this McKendrick seems to juggle everything both in front of and behind the camera effortlessly.

The script sparkles otherwise; the dialogue feels organic and flows freely and oftentimes packs much punch with jokes and retorts coming fast (along with bits of wisdom) “I don’t even know if I want kids,” moans Nellie at one point. “I’ve seen Euphoria.” Or how about the family dinner conversation where Nellie’s dad questions her decisions? “I need to frost-freeze your grandchildren,” she tells him, to which he eventually squawks about “Millennial feminist voodoo.” Sentimentality and hilariousness make for great bedfellows in Scrambled.

There are also modern-day vernacular sprinkled throughout the tale plus a stellar score/soundtrack that make for an enjoyable ride too; the filmmaker takes liberty poking fun at various stereotypes — baby shower BFFs & bros are fair game here – something relatable for everybody though being a coming-of-age woman-at-a-crossroads film; inventive, witty and laugh-out-loud funny, Scrambled is one of the best indie comedies to come around in a long time. McKendrick has given birth to a must-see hit.

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