Emma Stone (Superbad, Zombieland, House Bunny) stars in Easy A, a highschool-themed teen comedy that tackles almost as many issues and subjects as there are electives in highschool. The synopsis: Emma’s character, Olive Penderghast, experiences the advantages, dangers, consequences, and lessons that occur as a result of rumors spreading like wildfire. A rumor about her is spread about an alleged night in which she lost her virginity (when no such thing actually happened), and BOOM…events start taking place that take Olive and company on a trip not easily welcomed or forgotten.
An interesting aspect of this film caught my attention from the beginning- the vlogging/webcasting usage to tell Olive’s story. Very unique way to introduce the plot and easily allow a narration throughout the movie that doesn’t distract from it. I really enjoyed seeing this as not too many films operate in this fashion.
So, other than vlogging, what else was good about Easy A? Anything? The answer is yes. The cast, for one. The actors assembled for this film work very well in their roles…even Amanda Bynes (this was her last role before she “retired” and then “unretired.”)! Emma Stone’s efforts to be a strong leading character pay off. But the supporting cast is also a win for this film. From Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow (married couple that are part of the highschool staff) to Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci (Olive’s hippy, loopy, and accepting parents), the cast performs admirably and only adds to the film as a whole. Olive’s parents are quite possibly the best characters in the film.
I also enjoyed the realism. Everyone remembers highschool and the ruthlessness of it. This film either takes you back, or gives you something to look “forward” to, by showing you the reality of rumors, pressures, and on-again/off-again friendships during teen years. Olive’s life seems to correspond with what she is currently studying in class (she even points how that seems to happen a lot). The Scarlet Letter is the object of her studies, and, being able to relate to the story as a result of rumors, Olive takes matters into her own hands just like the heroine of the literary classic, thus incorporating her studies into her own life!
Being a romantic/teen comedy I was curious what the writer had in store for the audience. While it follows some of the same paths as American Pie and Superbad, there aren’t as many of the big laugh moments. I liked that aspect because it proves the comedy doesn’t have to be too overbearing in order to tell the story. While it may not be as funny as the aforementioned titles it is just as risqué. There are several mature and thematic elements to the film, as is the case with most highschool/college era-based comedies. The coarse language and subjects at times are exactly what one might expect to hear in a typical highschool setting. (that being said, it may be PG-13, but still may not be suitable for your kids!)
One other thing I loved was the tribute to John Hughes movies in style and by name. Films such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. This film could quite possibly be categorized as a “Breakfast Club” of this generation. It was edgy and entertaining…and adding the tribute to these 80’s classics was a nice touch!
On one of the blog sites in my blogroll (PopGoesCulture), the author mentions that there is confusion as to the actual message of the film. I tend to agree wholeheartedly. I’m not too entirely sure what the exact message is in the film. Olive is quite attractive and it’s somewhat unbelieveable that not one of the boys in her school paid any real attention to her until AFTER she allegedly lost her virginity. But, that’s what happens in the film. Attention comes only after her rumor spreads. Is the message that if you lose your virginity, then people will want you? Is it that you need to lie in order to be popular? or is it that just being you is all you need to be and the right thing will come along? There were a lot of themes in the film, like I said, about as many as there are electives in highschool. But I guess life in general is like that. Some life subjects we can pass with an Easy A and others, not so much. Nice work Emma Stone!
Easy A makes the grade for me.
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Sp1der’s Score: 7 out of 10 stars “Easy A”
…by the way, Emma Stone dropped out of Sucker Punch to do this film. Do you think she made a wise choice?
up next: The Town