You know things will only go wrong when a single parent leaves her two teenaged sons home alone with access to her car keys. Vatsal Neelakantan’s Friday Night Plan, which he has co-written with Sapan Verma, follows the beats of a typical American high school comedy (in the vein of Project X). The film is out on Netflix.

Sid (Babil Khan) is in a sort of time loop of wake up, play football, dance in the shower, repeat. He’s the man about the house and impatient with his irresponsible younger sibling Adi (Amrith Jayan). But at school, Sid’s the nerd.

It’s a normal day until their mother (Juhi Chawla) declares that she has to go on an overnight business trip, leaving the responsible Sid in charge of both the house and his precocious brother. Sid and Adi are constantly at odds. Sid is exasperated with Adi’s carelessness and overall presence just as Adi is frustrated with Sid’s reticence, lack of confidence and inflexibility.

But a surprising event offers the brothers a chance to make this an unforgettable Friday. Sid is hesitant, but Adi’s enthusiasm persuades Sid that he should capitalise on his first invitation to the school’s legendary party called ‘Friday Night Plan’. Sid is motivated by the opportunity to meet classmate Natasha (Medha Rana).

Being a part of the cool gang comes with its conditions. Plus there is the overarching need for Sid and Adi to ensure that their mother remains clueless about their shenanigans. All seems to be going well until... Revealing anything about a plot point involving a car would also be a spoiler.

Juhi Chawla in Friday Night Plan (2023). Courtesy Excel Entertainment/Netflix.

The scenes capturing the interpersonal family drama are the most emotional and relatable, whether involving Sid and Jai or Natasha and her younger sister Nitya (Aadhya Anand). On the other hand, the high school situations feel less rooted and derivative. The Friday night party includes drinking games such as beer pong and juvenile competitiveness so often seen in American comedies.

On the surface, Friday Night Plan is the story of one day and a night in the lives of these teenagers, with the high school tropes of bullies, jocks, graduation, first love, rivalry and secrecy. Beyond the scaffolding, this is a coming of age story of brothers who learn to embrace their differences and forge a bond.

Whether bantering, bickering, bonding, singing or slinging eggs, Khan and Jayan are amiable and well suited to their parts. The chemistry between the two young lead actors carries the 108-minute Hindi film that is unambiguously aimed at teenagers and young adult viewers.

Friday Night Plan (2023).