When an unnoticed high school student is overheard lying about losing her virginity she quickly becomes the focus of attention.
Directed by – Will Gluck
Written by – Bert V. Royal
Starring – Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Alyson Michalka, Stanley Tucci, Fred Armisen, Jake Sandvig, Morgan Rusler, Nicki Tyler Flynn
Finally after 2 days I got all that fancy new technology up and running in my house. What’s the best way to celebrate all that? By not watching it at all and checking out Easy A instead. After the brain busting and blood boiling experience of re-wiring my entire living room, I figured that Easy A would be a nice light-hearted way to get back into the movie reviews. It was a great choice as the film was quite funny and is the complete opposite of the typical teen comedy that I’m used to.
When Olive (Emma Stone) gets out of a camping weekend with her friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) by telling her she has a date, she doesn’t realize the trouble she’s started. Rhiannon is convinced that Olive lost her virginity over the weekend and Olive tells her all about it just to get her to shut-up. It’s all overheard by Marianne (Amanda Bynes), the most pure girl in school, who begins trying to ‘save’ Olive from her sinful ways. Word spreads quick in high school and soon Olive is hated by the girls but loved by the boys. When Brandon (Dan Byrd) approaches her to help him convince the school that he’s not gay by pretending to sleep with him, Olive is in a whole new world of trouble. Now everyone in the school who can’t get any is coming to Olive so it looks like they got some. Being labeled the school tramp isn’t something you want and Olive soon learns that the repercussions of her actions are more than she can handle.
There’s plenty to laugh about in this film but there’s two things that I’m really grateful for. First of all it’s not a raunchy teen sex comedy. Those I’ve seen a million times before. Second, the kids in the movie don’t talk like obnoxious, air headed bimbos but they also don’t talk like they just walked out of Diablo Cody training 101. It’s a good mix of adult and teen so that it doesn’t grate my nerves. While the message of the film isn’t exactly new (don’t be the school slut kids!) the way they get there is at least different. Nobody actually has to have sex in the movie to realize that what they’ve done is a bad idea. It’s the kind of teen comedy that kids could actually watch. Maybe it will secretly drill the purity idea into their head which is appealing when you’re the father of a daughter!
Emma Stone as Olive and her parents Dill (Stanley Tucci) and Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson) are absolutely hilarious in the film. The interaction between them was one of the best parts of the movie with Tucci and Clarkson almost stealing the film. As parents they manage to be both concerned and open with Olive, although if your daughter was Olive you wouldn’t have much to worry about. Olive’s kindness becomes a problem though when the other students in the school start asking her to pretend she had sex or made out with them. She wants to help them so bad that she agrees, usually with a gift card as payment, and it’s soon out of control when an actual sexual situation is discovered when Olive is implicated in it. There had to be some way for Olive to get in real trouble right?
Obviously Olive’s plan begins to blow up in her face and we have to get to the shiny, happy resolution. No point in being annoyed by the fluffy ending when you know it’s coming so I won’t even complain about that. Olive has always liked Todd (Penn Badgley), since the 8th grade, and he finally shows some interest in her. Is it because everyone thinks she’s easy or because he honestly likes her and can she overcome her image so that Todd will go out with her? Oh no, what will happen! Alright, the movie has to be a little cheesy but it was still a really fun film.
Basically you’ve got a really funny film with a good message. It doesn’t reduce teenagers to their most base instincts (at least not the main characters) and it doesn’t rely on gross-out humour to entertain. It has all the trademarks that any feel good tween flick should have but without being so annoying that adults can’t enjoy it. Sounds like a winner in my book.
Under the marquee – Will