Scrambled is the directorial debut of Leah McKendrick from a script she wrote and stars her as a 34-year-old woman who wants to freeze her eggs because she is recently single, broke, and feels like she is running out of time to have a baby the normal way. The comedy was inspired by McKendrick’s own egg-retrieval experience in 2021 and taps into the feelings and fears that many women have in their 30s. And McKendrick’s passion shines through in every aspect of the film. She is hilarious, captivating, and most of all, heartfelt. Scrambled succeeds because of Leah McKendrick; her script is witty, her directing is sharp, and her performance is inspired. Simply put, Leah McKendrick is one good egg, and Scrambled serves her up on an eggs-quisite platter.
Nellie (McKendrick) is recently single again after her best relationship in years falls apart. Now in her mid-thirties, babies are on her mind constantly as she attends weddings and baby showers for all her coupled friends. One doctor visit later and she learns that her ovaries may be deteriorating faster than normal so she decides she wants to freeze her eggs. The only problem is she has no money or any decent prospect in a man to do it the old fashioned way. And so with her internal clock ticking, Nellie strives to put her life together before it’s too late.
Scrambled is a coming-of-mid-age comedy that effortlessly blends raunchy humor with a handful of genuinely heartfelt moments that connect with the fears and anxieties of getting older. I admit that as a man I have no experience with women’s fertility. Unlike men who can have kids at practically any age, women do have a finite amount of eggs. And while technology has made a bigger window for pregnancy, it still eventually shuts for good. I can empathize with how terrifying that can be. Scrambled and Leah McKendrick do a great job at showcasing the difficult process of freezing your eggs while also utilizing humor to diffuse many awkward situations. Nellie has no shame in being who she is or saying what is on her mind.
What I enjoyed most about Scrambled is that it doesn’t try to fit into your typical comedy molds. I kept on expecting the film to turn into a romantic comedy where Nellie finds the perfect man in the end and her journey to freezing her eggs becomes secondary to the romance, but that never happens. Sure, she attempts to do just that and reunites with many of her previous “lovers” but their reunions all end up going hilariously wrong. Her most recent ex Sean is also constantly being brought up by everyone around her. He was the perfect man in her life before their breakup so if anyone would swoop in at the last moment for that fairytale ending it would be him. And while he does eventually make an appearance, it’s not entirely what you would expect.
There is strength in Scrambled‘s focus on Nellie freezing her eggs. This is what she wants, and even if she did have a perfect partner or whatever that still wouldn’t change her mind. She isn’t even sure if she wants kids or not, which honestly seems like a very strange thing to say when the entire film revolves around making babies. But it’s the option to choose that is the reasoning behind it, and that is what drives Nellie. So often it has to seem like everything is black or white, either this way or the other, especially in films. Real life isn’t that simple. Scrambled scrambles up the formula and shows that decisions can be more complex.
In the film Nellie compares women’s uteruses to an avocado saying that while you can’t see anything from the outside, inside there is a short window of opportunity where the avocado is perfectly ripe and outside of that window it’s either hard as a rock or a mushy mess. And you won’t find out which it is until you cut into it. On the outside, Scrambled looks like your stereotypical comedy, but once you cut into it you can see its humor and complexities. As the writer, director, and star of the film, Leah McKendrick has the monumental task of making it all work in harmony. Scrambled is a perfectly ripe avocado, and it’s thanks to McKendrick.
McKendrick’s passion shines through in every aspect of the film. She is hilarious, captivating, and most of all, heartfelt. Scrambled succeeds because of Leah McKendrick; her script is witty, her directing is sharp, and her performance is inspired. Simply put, Leah McKendrick is one good egg, and Scrambled serves her up on an eggs-quisite platter.