Few films walk a tonal tightrope as tricky as the one undertaken by Plan B, a terrific out-all-night comedy now available on Hulu that manages to combine the energy of Booksmart with the compassion for teenagers and their parents of Blockers. It adds, however, a refreshing and rare—at least until recently—willingness to tell a story about one of the things that can genuinely create a desperate situation for a girl this age: access to reproductive health care.
In this case, Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) is a South Dakota high school student whose first sexual encounter is unsatisfying and regrettable even before she realizes that a birth-control mishap means she's at risk of getting pregnant. (It's worth noting that out of all the birth-control mishaps you've seen in movies, this is one of the least shown but most plausible, particularly for teenagers whose sex education has been patchy and incomplete.) She knows her best chance to guard against pregnancy at this point is the morning-after pill (the titular Plan B), but when she goes with her best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles) to get it, she's denied by the local pharmacist for the simple reason that he doesn't wish to give it to her. He explains that under South Dakota law, that means he doesn't have to—even if she has no other option. "My hands are tied, morally speaking," he says with a smile.