"Scrambled" is a funny, warm, insightful slice of life about egg-freezing

Scrambled (2024)

Comedies about fertility and pregnancy have practically become a genre unto itself. Finding a fresh way into familiar material, “Scrambled” successfully destigmatizes being in your thirties and not having children, let alone knowing if you want them. On the surface, it is another arrested-development story told from a female perspective, but here, it’s worth repeating. Writer-director-star Leah McKendrick makes her one-woman show, her directorial debut, into a perceptive, warm, and often very funny slice of life.

McKendrick plays Nellie Robinson, a 34-year-old Los Angeleno who designs jewelry and sells it on Etsy. She’s always a bridesmaid and always invited to baby showers, and everyone sees her as a good time. Nellie is still on her family’s Verizon plan and just ended a relationship with her longtime boyfriend who wanted children when she wasn’t ready. Nellie still isn’t ready for children (“I’ve seen Euphoria,” she tells her gynecologist), but between the pressure of her father (Clancy Brown) to give him grandchildren and having a “diminished ovary reserve,” she buys herself more time by freezing her eggs. After borrowing cash from her finance bro brother (Andrew Santino), Nellie begins her journey of trigger shots to the abdomen — men or no men. 

After writing the script for 2017’s rape-revenger "M.F.A." and making a huge impression in a supporting role, Leah McKendrick really gets to show her stuff in a lead role. She lets it all hang out (literally and figuratively) as Nelly, who’s a mess but a likable and relatable mess whom you want to see find happiness. McKendrick is direct and naturally funny but also has the chops to be vulnerable. She gets two big monologues, one being a scene where Nellie accompanies her friend (but ends up going solo) at a therapy group with mothers who have experienced a miscarriage. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: B

Lionsgate released "Scrambled" (97 min.) in theaters on February 2, 2024.