Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Leah McKendrick delivers an enjoyable debut with Scrambled

In-demand writer Leah McKendrick makes a charming directorial debut in Scrambled from Lionsgate. Nellie Robinson is a woman who has always been there for her friends. She’s the quintessential bridesmaid, constantly attending weddings, baby showers, and other events to support those she cares about. However, despite her willingness to help others find love and happiness, Nellie has yet to discover a way to get into the romance department. She’s been on more bad dates than she can count, and she’s starting to feel like time is running out.

One day, Nellie decides to take control of her future by freezing her eggs. A decision sets her on a journey of empowerment as she discovers a brave new world of possibilities. She begins to explore new experiences and meet new people, all while learning more about herself and what she wants out of life. Through this journey, Nellie discovers that the person she’s been searching for might be herself. She learns to love and appreciate herself and gains the courage to pursue her dreams and make her happy.

Scrambled kicks off with an overzealous Nellie at her best friend’s Shelia’s (Ego Nwodi) wedding. During the film’s first twenty minutes, the audience is hit with the usual barrage of potty dialogue humor at a rapid pace and a humorous sex scene. From there, the film follows Nellie on her journey with comical results. One of the things I want to commend our writer/director for is the balance she finds between heartfelt and adult gags. Mckendick could have quickly gone the easy route and turned the entire film into a profane-laced allegory on dating in 2024, but she wisely avoids that and accurately portrays just how challenging the dating scene is for women of a certain age.

The film had some incredibly humorous moments, particularly the montage of dates, but what stood out was the lead actress’s ability to portray the character with poise and elegance. Her interaction with Adam Rodriguez, who played her ex, was a film highlight. I was also impressed with the chemistry between her and her on-screen father, portrayed by the talented Clancy Brown, and her brother Jesse, played by the hilarious comedian Andrew Santino.

While I’m not in Scrambled’s key demographic, I enjoyed watching the film with my wife. Leah McKendrick displays a natural knack for comedy and drama that left a lasting impression, and I look forward to her next project.

Final Grade: B

Scrambled is in theaters now.

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Leah McKendrick delivers an enjoyable debut with Scrambled