Scrambled Review: An Important Conversation About Fertility

Scrambled (2024).

Scrambled is an emotive and vibrant comedy-drama, from the dynamic creative talents of Leah McKendrick, who not only directed but also wrote and stars in the film. There’s a biting poignancy beneath the laughter, tackling a topic as personal as a woman’s fertility, making Scrambled a somewhat frustratingly average yet not without merit feature.

The Good:

Leah McKendrick portrays the role of the slightly offbeat and on-the-edge Nellie Robinson, a thirty-something woman hit by the startling news of her fertility woes during a routine doctor’s visit. The performance she gives is admirable and somewhat bold, creating a character who isn’t easily relatable but exudes a certain charm in her angst-filled endeavors. McKendrick has a knack for delivering witty lines and provides many of the comedic beats in the film.

The rest of the cast adds a layered dynamic to the film’s ensemble, starting with Ego Nwodim‘s excellent performance as Sheila, the spirited and good-humored friend who anchors Nellie during her roller coaster ride of insecurities and doubts. Andrew Santino delivers an apt performance as Jesse Robinson, offering a sometimes annoying yet touchingly endearing interpretation of a brotherly role. Adam Rodriguez charms with his engaging charisma as Sterling Morales. However, it’s Clancy Brown, who stands out with his touching portrayal of Richard, Nellie’s father, who comes through for Nellie in unexpected ways, subtly articulating the pain and helplessness of a parent watching his child grapple with tough choices.

Where Scrambled truly stands out is in the authentic depiction of the plight many women face when confronting their fertility or lack thereof. There’s a deep understanding of the insecurities, uncertainties, and unvoiced pain these women go through and McKendrick’s directing paints a vivid, if a bit exaggerated, picture of this struggle. Scrambled should be credited for daring to take on a rarely explored topic in mainstream cinema, yet it feels it only just scratches the surface.

McKendrick’s film carries moments of fun, blending its dry humor with bursts of sudden, hard-hitting reality checks. The lively soundtrack does a lot to enhance the comedy moments and keeps the film buoyant even as it meanders into sadder territories.

The Bad:

On the script front, the writing often comes across as strained. What seems intended as poignant conversations occasionally miss the mark and can feel too engineered for the laughs or tears. Certain story elements feel awkwardly thrown in without being fully fleshed out. It would have benefitted from a tighter script that navigated Nellie’s struggle with more empathy and substance.

The film also misses an opportunity to fully develop its characters’ camaraderie and connections, leaving them to function more as accessories in Nellie’s crisis than full-fledged individuals dealing with their own stories.


All in all, Scrambled makes for a decent viewing experience. While it may not quite achieve what it set out to do and feels inconsistent in places, it still provides a platform for important conversations around fertility. The performances alone make it a worthy watch. McKendrick’s valiant attempt at combining humor and poignancy creates a memorable, if slightly jumbled, portrayal of a woman’s experience with her body, relationships, and society’s expectations of her.

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Scrambled Review: An Important Conversation About Fertility
  • Acting - 7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Watchability - 6/10
  • Rewatchability - 4/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.