KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Scrambled’ actress Leah McKendrick was a joy to watch
Feb 3, 2024, 7:00 AM
SALT LAKE CITY — Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about writing a novel or a screenplay has been — write what you know. It’s obvious that’s what happened in “Scrambled”.
Leah McKendrick took that to heart as she contemplated having children or not. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend, she was in her mid-30s, no serious dating prospects – and with the clock ticking, so she chose the bold move of freezing her eggs.
How to make a drama/comedy out of that situation felt like a risky endeavor, but she soldiered on, wrote a script, got the funding, pulled together an amazing cast, chose to star and direct – the result is a sassy film that walks that fine line between yikes! and yahoo!
Nellie (Leah McKendrick) is always the life of the party. She has so many girlfriends, that every weekend, she’s either a bridesmaid at a wedding or attending a baby shower.
Her closest friend Sheila (SNL’s Ego Nwodim) is having a four-alarm meltdown on her wedding day. Sure, we’ve all seen the reluctant bride scenario played out a dozen times before – but trust me – not like this. Sheila is losing her mind and it’s Nellie’s “mission impossible” to talk her off the ledge, even with some calming drugs if necessary, but then makes Sheila spit them out when she reveals she’s pregnant! What a hot, hilarious mess, but Nellie gets the job done.
Hoping for some advice from her family, Nellie confronts her father Richard (Clancy Brown) and her brother Jesse (comedian Andrew Santino) for a possible solution to her dilemma of kids/no kids. Dad is no help as he insists his grandbabies be fresh, not frozen. And her idiot older brother is even less helpful as he doesn’t plan on procreating until he’s in his 70s, so any words of wisdom he might conjure up are useless.
Her girlfriends suggest that maybe one of her old flames might look better now with fresh eyes. That’s a painful segment as either they are still little boys, playas, married or about to be. One, they call Kyle the nice guy (Brett Dier) who has held onto the hurt she left him in and hasn’t gotten over it — it’s a weeping disaster.
So after all that, it comes down to the real scenario of freezing her eggs.
It’s a long, painful process that McKendrick thought had never been addressed in a movie before and needed to be, but still make the film both dramatic and funny.
I thought she did a pretty good job, but when she’s going through her “top of the batting order” quest to find a true partner, it does get a bit risqué and her strong personality doesn’t feel like shying away from her sexual intensity (so be forewarned).
Still, I thought it fit her character, so I wasn’t surprised with anything she did or said, so I was okay with it, but that’s just me.
The result is I came away with an appreciation for subjects like “diminished ovarian reserve” and “consciously uncoupled” from a clever, vibrant young woman, Leah McKendrick, from whom I hope to see much more of her outstanding work in the future.
SCRAMBLED (B) Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language throughout and some drug use. Starring Leah McKendrick, Ego Nwodim, Clancy Brown, Andrew Santino and Adam Rodriguez. Written and directed by Leah McKendrick in her feature film directorial debut. Running time: 97 minutes.