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Emily Clark

Movie Review

Wesley’s had a rough year.

She’s been on 17 job interviews, twice as many bad dates, her car was destroyed, she’s on a tight budget (and stealing food from the kid she babysits), all of her birds died, and her hair is starting to fall out.

You would think she’d try focusing on just one of these problems—you know, like getting a job—which is exactly what her two best friends, Brooke and Kaylie, recommend. Nope. Wesley’s determined to have it all.

As luck would have it, after a failed blind date, she winds up meeting the guy of her dreams…well, sort of. Jared prefers salads to junk food, plays bubble soccer and doesn’t have a problem with people clipping their toenails in public—all things that Wesley hates. But he’s good looking and a safe bet, so she’s willing to pretend that Jared is the perfect guy for her.

Until he ghosts her, that is.

After five days of not hearing from him with no explanation, Wesley is devastated. But she’s not willing to just let Jared get away with treating her this way (not after all the labor she’s put into making him think she’s the perfect woman). So along with Brooke and Kaylie, she drafts an email to Jared, letting him know exactly what she thinks of him.

The email is mean, and that’s putting it mildly. Then it gets worse: Turns out Jared wasn’t ghosting her after all. He was in a coma after getting into a car wreck in Mexico.

If Jared reads the email, he definitely won’t want to continue dating Wesley. “Would it be insane if I went to Mexico and erased the email?” she asks her friends.

Yes. Yes, it would, Wes.

But she’s desperate, so she heads off to Mexico with Brooke and Kaylie in tow to break into Jared’s hotel room and delete the email from his computer before he’s released from the hospital.

What could possibly go wrong?

Positive Elements

Wesley’s friends embody unconditional love and support throughout the film. Even when she ignores their sage advice, they still try to help her work through her problems—often to the neglect of their own. Wesley largely takes this for granted, to the point where her friends decide they need a break from her drama to focus on themselves. Along the way, Wesley gradually realizes that she doesn’t need a man in her life to be happy. She apologizes to Brooke and Kaylie and even advises a young girl not to abandon her own friends for some random guy. Brooke, who spends much of the film angry at all men in retribution for her husband having an affair, finally realizes that her continued rage is only hurting her more. She also admits that it will eventually hurt her infant son as well if she doesn’t make some big changes. After multiple failed attempts to get pregnant, Kaylie makes the decision to adopt an older child out of the foster system. Wesley befriends a widower named Sean and helps him to move past his fear of starting a new relationship. Sean, in turn, teaches Wesley that it’s OK to be a little crazy, adding that she just needs to find a guy who appreciates who she really is. A woman saves a cat from a tree and compliments the owners for loving the animal despite his terrible personality.

Spiritual Elements

Wesley interviews for a job in a Catholic school with a nun wearing a cross necklace. We see a crucifix on the nun’s desk. Someone calls Christianity an “archaic institution of organized religion.”

Kaylie sees a pregnancy shaman in Mexico whose name (we’re told) means “angel of peace.” Someone says that the universe throws obstacles in your way so you can find your “true” path. A woman says she’s thinks she’s cursed. Someone says she hopes God and all of the other gods and goddesses will curse a man. One character tells Wesley to pretend she was possessed.

Sexual Content

A dolphin thrusts against a woman in the ocean, and she mistakenly thinks it’s just hugging her. She then gets hit in the face with the dolphin’s genitals.

Wesley and Jared make out and have sex (we see them start to remove clothing, but bedsheets prevent anything critical from being seen during the act).

Brooke’s husband has cheated on her, and we see a picture of him with his face scribbled over. Her friends tell her to have a “revenge affair,” and she winds up kissing another woman. The woman kisses her back and they have sex (offscreen, though we do see groping). She later decides to divorce her husband.

Wesley is accused of being a pedophile after she drops a sex toy on the ground and a young boy picks it up. This becomes a revolving joke as she continues to have inappropriate (though admittedly, accidental) run-ins with the child. She enters his hotel room wearing nothing but a towel, which she then loses when it gets caught on a hook. Nothing is seen, and the boy closes his eyes, but he accidentally touches her breast while handing her back the towel. In a later scene, the boy gives Wesley CPR after she faints, and his mother says that Wesley kissed him.

Wesley and Sean kiss. A woman kisses a few men on their cheeks. Wesley runs through the hotel naked (nothing critical is seen) covering herself with her arms and a seat cushion. Several women wear swimsuits that show cleavage. Some women wear yoga pants and sports bras to workout in. A man covers the front of his pants with a plate.

A school guidance counselor says she is pro-marriage but also believes that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t work. She suggests masturbation to girls whose boyfriends pressure them to get physical. She also helps a girl whose boyfriend sent a topless picture of her to his teammates.

People joke and go into graphic detail about sex, male and female genitalia, ejaculation and masturbation. Someone says a plastic bubble smells like sperm. There is some discussion about birth control pills and erectile dysfunction medication. A woman suggests a pill to prevent men from cheating. There are frequent uses of the eggplant emoji in reference to male genitals.

Violent Content

Wesley falls and hits her head, causing her to bleed and have a concussion. She is later electrocuted by a fence and punched in the nose by another woman. She jumps off a balcony to escape custody but is then crushed beneath two men when they jump after her, injuring themselves as well in the process.

A woman falls from a tree while rescuing a cat, which then claws her face. Jared is covered in cuts and bruises after getting into a car accident. He says he has a broken foot, a bruised lung and several fractured vertebrae. He also accidentally gets hit in the face with a backpack. While driving, Sean swerves to avoid hitting a goat, and the car flips over, though nobody is hurt. Two women shove and slap a guard when he stops them from entering a restricted area.

People joke about murderers, cannibals, and getting hit by cars. A woman says she had an 18-inch long episiotomy while giving birth.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is heard about 40 times and the s-word around 25 or so. There are also a dozen uses of “d–k,” six of “b–ch,” four of “h—” and “a–,” two of “whore,” and one each of “p-ss,” “d–n” and “slut.” God’s name is misused about 65 times (twice paired with “d–mit”), and Jesus’ name is misused three times. Some profanities are also visible onscreen in Wesley’s email.

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink wine, beer and other forms of alcohol throughout the movie—at home, in restaurants and bars and on the beach. Wesley, Brooke and Kaylie get drunk when writing a hate email to Jared. Kaylie gets drunk after learning that she won’t be able to have children. Wesley’s house is littered with half-empty wine bottles and shot glasses from her friends’ bachelorette parties. We hear some jokes about drinking, cigarettes and drug dealers. Wesley has Jared take several Percocet pills to help him fall asleep.

Other Negative Elements

Wesley vomits on another woman’s face, steals Wi-Fi from her neighbors and food from a child she babysits, says she used to have an online gambling problem, stalks Jared to Mexico and eventually gets arrested for breaking into his hotel room. However, even this isn’t enough for her to realize that she is acting crazy. While she eventually gets her life together, she inadvertently hurts her friends by neglecting them and hurts Jared by lying to him about who she really is. (Jared is especially mad since his ex-fiancé was a clinically diagnosed psychopath who smashed his car windows, stole his mail and broke into house after he changed his locks.)

We learn that Sean was married for seven years before his wife passed away. Wesley makes a cruel joke about Jared’s deceased father and says she hopes his wife will be barren. Wesley broke up with her ex-boyfriend because he said he wasn’t the marrying type. However, the guy winds up getting engaged and says it was just a matter of finding the right person, which obviously hurts Wesley’s feelings.

A man’s friend says that he is in a custody battle when in reality, he gave up his kids. We hear about a woman who eats her own hair. People make fun of a cat that looks like Hitler. Another woman compares crawling out of a wrecked car to giving birth. A woman almost urinates when she is tickled. Some women are scared at a sketchy hotel when they hear crashes, screams, a chainsaw and gunshots.

Conclusion

Wesley thought she would have it all by the time she hit 30—a “dope career,” a husband, a few kids—but one tragedy after another prevented those dreams from happening. Her friends wisely tell her, “Don’t compare yourself to other people. It’s a loser’s game.” But Wesley doesn’t listen.

Instead, she pretends to be the last “normal” girl in L.A. to win the affections of a guy and finally be happy. Only that doesn’t make her happy either.

Wesley has to suffer through being electrocuted, being accused of being a pedophile and even being arrested just to realize that faking it really isn’t worth it. Truth be told, if Wes had just listened to Brooke and Kaylie to begin with, she could’ve saved herself a lot of heartache. But at least in the end she finally recognizes her own worth and her friends’ love for her (in spite of her insane actions)

That being said, Desperados (much like its heroine) is insane. Any movie that features a visibly aroused dolphin as the punchline of a joke is probably enough to make many viewers say, “Nope.” But that’s not where it stops. Wesley, despite being “pro-marriage,” has no problem with premarital sex. She and Kaylie even encourage Brooke to have extramarital sex after her husband cheats on her (which Brooke does with another woman). Most of the film’s jokes revolve around sex and alcohol (often both), and the steady flow of foul language only adds to the crudity.

Wesley’s desperate quest for love is meant to be funny. But you’d have to be pretty desperate for a laugh to see Desperados.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.