April 13, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Film Review: Scrambled

FILM REVIEW
SCRAMBLED
Rated R
97 Minutes
Limited Release February 2nd

In Scrambled, her first feature film as a director, Leah McKendrick has painted a vivid picture of the pain, heartache, deep frustration, and joy of possessing a mid-30s female body in today’s society. The film’s style is simple, with no fancy action scenes or special effects, and McKendrick has the courage to tell it like it is, with all the raw details on display. She also plays the central character, “Nellie.”. At the age of 34, Nellie has the uncomfortable twinge that is common to many women in their thirties who have not yet started their own families, a feeling that they may never get the chance. This race against time fuels the sometimes shocking, often hilarious, always heartfelt impulses that guide Nellie’s actions throughout the story. 

McKendrick does not put Nellie on a pedestal. As the only unmarried one among her group of friends, she is decidedly the outsider. How she can satisfy her yearning and preserve her unique personality and place in her world without losing her mind, is the story of this film. The secret is that she finds help from unlikely sources along the way. The editing and camera work is excellent, heightening the emotions written on faces and body movement, and the flow of the narrative moves steadily. The writing is very smart, refreshingly new, and not overdone, and McKendrick is not afraid to strike a “word dagger” when necessary. She seems to write from instinct.

McKendrick has cast the film with unique actors who each bring personality to their characters, even if only on screen for a few moments. Clancy Brown is both charming and exasperating as Nellie’s Dad. Best friend “Sheila” is played with great emotional range by Saturday Night Live’s Ego Nwodim. McKendrick, as Nellie, buries inside her character a terror of aging out underneath a high-energy, quick-to-comedy, always-there-to-help, life-of-the-party personality. Is she facing a FOMO, comparing herself to her married friends? Or is she the one who has the strength to be her own individual and to figure out how to have a little of the best of both worlds.

I met McKendrick when she had just graduated from Chapman College’s theatre program, and Phil Brock recruited her to our roster at Studio Talent Group. In this business of constant rejection and disappointment, she has persevered. Having trained since her teen years as an actress, singer, and screenwriter, she has built her career one step at a time. She started in 2007 with roles in small film and TV projects, then wrote, produced, and starred in her own pop musical web series in 2014, starred in M.F.A., her feature debut, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Fest in 2017, was hired as a writer on Paramount’s Grease prequel in 2019, and wrote, directed and co-starred in the short film Pamela & Ivy in 2022. All has culminated in this extraordinary film, Scrambled. I recently spoke with McKendrick and asked her how much of Nellie’s experience was based on her own life. She said, “A lot. It’s a heightened version of my life.” She noted that the experience of writing, directing, and acting in her own film meant that her brain “was on such intense overdrive –there wasn’t enough space for a whole lot of fear to creep in!”  

Scrambled is realistic and well-written, illustrating the challenges that a woman can face when not conforming to the social standard of husband and kids.  The good, the bad, and the ugly are all on display here; nothing is glossed over. This period of a woman’s life can be painfully difficult, both tragic and comic, and it may appear bizarre to others. I know, I’ve been there. I can say this is a genuine, refreshingly honest, earnest story that does not lose sight of the fact that life at almost any stage and situation can be fun if you let it. The movie surprised me. It’s well worth your time. And keep your eyes open for McKendrick’s next project, a romcom she wrote for Netflix.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

Related Posts

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Top 4 Party Boat Rentals in San Diego

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Here’s a rundown of the top 4 party boat rentals that will elevate any event to an unforgettable experience: Alana...

Venice Shorts: Media Trucks Scour Canals After Saturday’s Violent Assaults

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Just How Safe Is Venice? By Nick Antonicello Car vandalism, tool theft, break-ins, property theft, pick-pocketing at the beach, rampant...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...

Santa Monica Breakfast Club Hosts 8th Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Whimsical Event Raises Funds for Local Families’ Dental Care Needs The Santa Monica Breakfast Club is gearing up for its...

Council Advances Plans for 120+ Affordable Apartments

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Development Aims to Serve Individuals and Families Earning Between 30 to 80% of the Area Median Income The City...

(Video) The New Menu Experience at Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica is Delicious

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Southeast Asian dishes satisfy. Friendly ambiance, flavorful food, subtle cocktails, beer and wine, and scrumptious desserts. @smmirrornews The New...

Lyft Driver Charged with Sexual Assault Following Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Incident Occured in September By Zach Armstrong A Lyft driver who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman last year has...

SB 1509 Advances: Malibu Officials Rally Behind Negligent Operator Treatment Bill

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Senator Stern’s Legislation Gains Momentum in Effort to Curb Reckless Driving SB 1509, the Negligent Operator Treatment bill spearheaded by...

“New Girl” Actor Sells Palisades Abode for $3.1M

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

He and His Wife Undertook a Renovation of the Unique, Two-Story Abode, Transforming It Into a Picturesque Beachfront Dwelling Actor...

Nationwide Retail Theft Scheme Leads to Five-Year Prison Sentence for Santa Monica Man

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Man Led a Group That Hoodwinked Department Stores Across 23 States By Zach Armstrong A Santa Monica man was...

Two Women Assaulted and Injured Near Venice Canals, LAPD Initiates Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Venice Community Will See an Increase in Patrols Along With Black and White Police Vehicles By Zach Armstrong An...

Report: State Farm’s California Policy Shakeup to Hit Palisades the Hardest

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Customers Affected Will Receive Notifications Starting July 3 for Property Holders and August 20 for Commercial Apartment Holders The San...