Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Duration: 92 mins
Yes, my first review is on a teen movie that is 3 years old. (Judge if you want). So this weekend I had some free time and happened upon Easy A while channel surfing. I struck gold! Not your typical teen comedy filled with the usual campy high school tropes, Easy A is a hilarious and smart film even for adults. Filled with gut-busting quirky humor, endearing characters, brilliant quotable dialog, and (my personal favorite) loads of pop-culture references.
A modern adaptaion of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, Easy A centers on Olive Penderghast played by the adorable Emma Stone. Olive is a smart, funny, and virginal high school girl who lies about having sex in an effort to get her persistent friend off her back. Unfortunately for her, the conversation is overheard and the rumor spreads like wildfire across the school solidifying her reputation as “easy”. She is soon approached by outcast boys at school asking her to “enhance their reputations”. Feeling obligated, she agrees to help then in exchange for money, coupons, and gift cards. Olive gets labeled a slut and decides to embrace it by dressing provocatively and sewing an ‘A’ on to her clothing in a nod to ‘The Scarlet Letter’. Thing escalate when the stories get out of hand and begins to get treated like a real prostitute. Olive eventually loses friendships and realizes she needs to set the record straight.
Easy A is loaded with acting talent. Emma Stone brings sass and intellectual wit with every one liner while staying charming and warm. Amanda Bynes (Pre driveway hobo bonfire and disturbing wig-wearing crazy episodes) plays Olive’s nemesis Marianne, a preachy crusading Christian, without being too cliche and sterotypical. (And really it’s quite funny and ironic to watch given her recent behavior.) Penn Badgley plays the John Hughes-esq love interest Todd. He isnt the jock, but the school mascot who is a slightly goofy and respectful heartthrob who is for once an approachable/realistic match for our female lead. I think the best performance of the bunch goes to Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson who play Olive’s well-meaning laid-back parents. They bring some priceless scenes and unconventional parenting to the film. Still, unlike many high school movies, her parents are fun and quirky all while still maintaining a parental support system and not being completely oblivious to their daughters obvious issues.
This movie is way above average for the lowly high school comedy genre. I definitely think if you are turned off by this film because it’s PG-13 and set in a high school, you are being WAY too picky. A comedy is suppose to be fun, right? It’s an added bonus when the comedy delivers something smart and original in addition. I highly recommend Easy A for a good laugh! It will be a great addition to my movie collection.