– Summary –
Director : Will Gluck
Year Of Release : 2010
Principal Cast : Emma Stone, Penn Badgely, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Hayden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Alyson Michalka
Approx Running Time : 116 Minutes
Synopsis: When Olive lies to her friend about losing her virginity, and the lie spreads through the school, she decides to use her new-found notoriety for her own ends – only to discover that being the school slut isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
What we think : Hilarious teen-school comedy, featuring a knockout performance from lead actress Emma Stone, sometimes borders on the unbelievable, but maintains a rock-solid edginess for which we thank the screenwriter. Smart, pointed and genuinely humorous, Easy A is a knockout.
Easy A is a cracker of a comedy, centered around Olive (Emma Stone) and the lie she tells to her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) about losing her virginity. When the schools resident Jesus-Freak leader Marianne (Amanda Bynes) overhears this, and spreads the story around the school, it inadvertently leads everyone to believe Olive is a bit of an “easy lay”, to use a phrase. One of Olive’s friends, Micah, who happens to be gay, asks Olive to pretend to sleep with him in order to stop the constant harassment at school – homosexuality being a torment for the young lad. She does so, and before too long, a line of other men are queuing for similar favors. The narrative hook for this film is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, to the point where Olive wears her skanky clothes around the school with a large red A emblazoned on the front; social commentary of both gossip, and exclusion, and hypocrisy, make Easy A a pretty thematic movie. While the film does often skirt the realms of fantasy, with a few moments that border on ludicrous, the essential through-story of the film remains grounded in reality. It’s about perception, Easy A.
A traditional teen comedy centered around an age-old tale (often a Shakspearean story – Midsummer Nights Dream became Get Over It, Taming Of The Shrew became 10 Things I Hate About You, and countless other examples!) about a woman who takes on the perception that she puts out for money, Easy A avoids cliche and contrived character by being very very funny – the script is whip-smart and the casting and acting are all first rate. The character of Olive isn’t your traditional Ugly Duckling-come-Megahot Beauty, rather, she’s pretty attractive to begin with and starts to use that to her advantage. The social conventions of the film are pretty fanciful in reality, and there’s a degree of simplification in the ideas the film explores – but they’re grounded in reality and it’s here that Easy A stands out. The smart dialogue and brilliant performance from actress Emma Stone are the most easily appreciated aspects of the film, but the truly funny secondary characters back her work up with a degree of hilarity missing from the more traditional gross-out comedies of recent years. Easy A isn’t the most “realistic” film you’ve ever seen, but it is what it is, and that’s a funny satirical snipe at the fragility of perception and the acceptance of those different from you. Oh, and that lying doesn’t help. There’s that, too. A smart, wonderfully funny little film.
© 2011 – 2014, Rodney Twelftree. All rights reserved.