In that regard, Morales’ movie walks in the footsteps of various recent female-centric pictures—the top-shelf studio comedy “Blockers” with a fiercely sex-positive message, the delightfully vigorous “Booksmart” and to a degree, even the devastating “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” with its fearless plunge into America’s shameful anti-abortion leanings. And it does so with such energy and singularity, thanks in large part to the leading duo—two undeniable stars-in-the-making. One is the exceptional Kuhoo Verma, whom you might recall from her brief yet memorable scene in “The Big Sick” as an arranged match to Kumail Nanjiani. (“The truth is out there!”) She plays the straight-laced Sunny, whose hobbies include masturbating to male bodies in her anatomy book and trying to live up to the high expectations of her successful mom while steering clear of her culture’s prying eyes that she calls “The Indian Mafia.”
Her flaky bestie Lupe is played by the peerlessly charismatic Victoria Moroles (“Teen Wolf”), who is the exact opposite of Sunny in every way—she recklessly vapes, purposely aggravates her traditional single dad with her rebellious clothing choices, and doesn’t care all that much about schoolwork. We get introduced to the duo in a “Thelma & Louise” style parallel montage, scored to “Every 1’s A Winner” by Hot Chocolate (perhaps just to throw in a “Frances Ha” reference in there in solidarity with female friendship movies) and get to understand just how dissimilar they are. Still, as soon as they come together in school corridors, there’s a palpable bond between these two misfits, which they seem to have sealed against the squarely popular kids and customary meanies of their class.
But when Sunny’s mom goes out of town, the girls decide to throw a party for all anyway, just to have an excuse to invite their crushes over. Sunny’s is called Hunter, played adorably by Michael Provost who perfectly personifies a high-school jock, but one with depth and smarts. When her plan to seduce him goes off the rails, Sunny throws herself into the arms of the amicably well-meaning religious recluse Kyle (Mason Cook) as a misjudged consolation, a spur-of-the-moment miscalculation that necessitates the morning-after pill. But with the town’s pharmacist refusing to sell it to them (using the state’s maddening “conscience clause” as a justification), the girls hit the road to the nearest Planned Parenthood.