Desperados Parent Guide
Cringy secondhand embarrassment is hard to get right as humor, and this production gets it very wrong.
Parent Movie Review
Wesley (Nasim Pedrad) is struggling to get her life together. She’s unlucky in love, broke, and unable to find a job after finishing grad school. Just as she’s given up hope, she meets Jared (Robbie Amell), who seems like the perfect guy. When he doesn’t contact her for five days, Wesley assumes she’s been ghosted and writes him an angry email, only to find out he’s actually been in a coma in Mexico. Desperate to delete the email before he reads it, Wesley heads to Mexico with her best friends, Brooke (Anna Camp) and Kaylie (Sarah Burns), to find Jared’s laptop before he gets released from the hospital.
I want to start off by congratulating Netflix on their huge achievement of creating a wormhole device that turns 105 minutes into four hours. They should sell that technology to NASA and get their money’s worth. At one point during the runtime, I thought the story was wrapping up and I felt like I’d been watching for a while, so I checked how much time was left. I was less than halfway through. That was the moment I realized that I needed to hunker down for the long haul. I kissed my sweet baby goodbye and settled in. An eternity later, I emerged from my bedroom, slightly dehydrated, hungry, and with a headache, realizing it was now time to make dinner, even though I had started watching right after lunch. This film stole my entire day from me, and yet it claims to only be 105 minutes long. I’m not claiming witchcraft, but I’m also not not claiming witchcraft.
Aside from being an eternity long, the writers of this movie also forgot that they were making a comedy and failed to add any jokes. Cringy secondhand embarrassment is hard to get right as humor, and this production gets it very wrong. I did not laugh or even crack a smile the whole time. I did have to look away and breathe deeply a few times when it got too mortifying to even witness. Cringe is almost never funny. When not trying to kill the audience with squirmingly awkward moments, the writers also attempt to include humor through profanity and sexual innuendo. This, too, does not work. It’s possible to be crass and funny, but Desperados falls fully into the “gross” category. Call me a prude but I just don’t think tween boys should be used for pedophile jokes and sexual innuendo.
The only somewhat redeeming part of this dumpster fire is the last 15 or so minutes. Brooke and Kaylie have an honest and real discussion about the pain of infertility, which seems very out of place compared to the rest of the story but is really well done. And it is only in these last few minutes that the overall message of the film becomes clear: boyfriends come and go but best friends will always be there for you. I think that’s actually a sweet message, especially in a rom-com, but it comes so late in the game that it misses out on having any real impact. There are glimmers of an actually great movie in here somewhere. The general premise has potential, the cast is talented, and the message is timely and fresh for the genre, but the bad writing ruins any hope Desperados could have had.Directed by LP. Starring Robbie Amell, Nasim Pedrad, and Heather Graham. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release July 3, 2020. Updated July 3, 2020
Rating & Content Info
Why is Desperados rated Not Rated? Desperados is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A woman falls, blood is shown on her forehead. A woman punches another woman in the face. A woman is electrocuted by an electric fence. A car swerves and falls on its side. Gunshot sounds are heard in the background in one scene.
Sexual Content: Discussion about masturbation. Two sex scenes, both do not show nudity but it’s obvious what is happening. Many crude sexual terms are used, both in terms of sex and as insults. A vibrator falls out of a woman’s purse and is shown for an extended period. A woman accidently loses her clothes and walks around wearing only a towel. A woman is accidently naked in front of a young boy. A woman gets smacked in the face by a dolphin’s penis.
Profanity: At least 30 uses of extreme language, many used in a sexual context, an uncountable amount of uses of terms of deity, as well as many other moderate and mild expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Many scenes depict alcohol, both in dining and social settings. A group of people get drunk together and later talk about how drunk they were.
Page last updated July 3, 2020
Desperados Parents' Guide
Why does Wesley feel like she needs to hide who she is around Jared? Can a relationship be successful if one partner is changing their personality to fit in?
Related home video titles:
There are far better rom-coms to watch if you’re looking for a love story with a sense of humor.
Having become friends online, a couple doesn’t realize that they are real life enemies in You’ve Got Mail.
A young woman winds up far away from home when she flies to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family in Crazy Rich Asians.
Isn’t It Romantic? spoofs the tropes of the genre by having its protagonist hit her head and wake up inside a rom-com.