Directed by Natalie Morales (‘Language Lessons’), ‘Plan B’ is a teen road comedy film that revolves around best friends Lupe (Victoria Moroles) and Sunny (Kuhoo Verma). Brought up by her loving but strict mother, Rosie, Sunny has led a largely sheltered life. However, when Rosie goes out of town for work, Lupe convinces her friend to organize a party at her home and invite her crush, Hunter. But Hunter leaves the party with another girl, and Sunny ends up having sex with a guy named Kyle. The following morning, Sunny discovers that there is a chance that she can get pregnant.
When the local pharmacist refuses to sell her a morning-after pill, she and Luper embark on a race against time to go to the Planned Parenthood center in Rapid City. ‘Plan B’ is a genuinely funny film in which quirky characters find themselves in bizarre situations. However, the film seems to have weaponized humor to give a satirical outlook on the American healthcare system. If you have noticed this and are wondering whether ‘Plan B’ is based on a true story, this is what you need to know.
Is Plan B Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Plan B’ is not based on a true story. According to Morales, the film is “as raunchy and as funny and as insane as all the other teen quest movies, except it’s about two brown girls [whose] quest is to get contraception.” Indeed, ‘Plan B’ resonates with the same vibe as ‘Superbad,’ ‘Sex Drive,’ and ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.’ Some of the team members of the last film in that list were also involved in the production of ‘Plan B.’
The perspectives of female protagonists add a layer of unconventionality in the film’s approach to the genre. Another film that has done this brilliantly is Olivia Wilde’s ‘Booksmart.’ But beyond ‘Plan B’s impressive comedic credentials, there is an earnest effort to criticize the healthcare and legal systems in the US, especially the aspects that deny women absolute authority over their own bodies. A pharmacist refuses to sell Sunny and Lupe a morning-after pill and reveals that he can do that because they are both 17 years old.
The film is set in South Dakota, where pharmacists are indeed allowed to refuse service because of their religious and moral beliefs. This is despite the fact that in 2013, the Food and Drug Administration ensured the availability of emergency contraceptives without a prescription to girls and women of ages 15 and older. Morales stated in an interview, “There are a lot of messages in this movie, but mostly it wasn’t made with the intent to hit you over the head with anything, other than perhaps seeing yourself represented or seeing your daughters represented or seeing someone that’s like you — and feeling understood.”
According to reports, a Twitter user known as Paige took to the social media platform in early May 2021 to claim that ‘Plan B’ had plagiarized the title, plot, characters, and even entire scenes from her 2018 Academy Nicholl Fellowship film of the same name. She reportedly also claimed that she based the script on her and her best friend’s high school experience. On May 28, 2021, she posted a new Tweet addressing the issue. As of now, the filmmakers haven’t publically spoken on the allegations, and it seems like this issue may just be settled in court, outside the realm of the internet.
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