The teen girl buddy movie is having a moment -- from Booksmart to Never Rarely Sometimes Always to Unpregnant, the latter two with premises not dissimilar to this film's. What Plan B brings to the genre is more diversity and a gleeful urge to push the boundaries.
Its two charismatic leads (played by newcomers Victoria Moroles and Kuhoo Verma) face a variety of stereotypes and ethnically-insensitive comments. Most of these are played for laughs, like the idea of an "Indian mafia" that young Indian Americans can't escape, or a character's secret penchant for Christian rap. At one point, one of the stars deadpans, "Is this what White privilege feels like?"
There are also subplots about a lesbian character fearing the repercussions of coming out, and the pressures teens feel to live up to their parents' and peers' expectations. Unfortunately, the characters don't reveal these inner feelings and motivations until more than an hour into the movie.
For its first half, Plan B feels more like a series of ideas and situations strung together. Some of these are very funny, but others are decidedly less so. Rachel Dratch has a cameo as a clueless sex ed teacher promoting female abstinence, and an overachieving teen mind-melds hilariously with a drug dealer when they're both high.
Sequences like one involving grown men frightening two teen girls with racist sexual taunts, young adults drugged out of their minds at a house party, or a playground drug dealer dropping his pants for oral sex all feel a bit aggressive for a high school movie.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.