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Posted on 7/04/12 01:56 PM
Alright, maybe that score is a little high for most of you, but for me it had to be that high. You see, I'm a sucker for two things in the movie world; highschool movies and Emma Stone. So maybe this review may seem a little biased, but I think even looking past these two things, Easy A is still a great and heartfelt comedy.
Easy A tells the story of highschool nobody Olive Penderghast who inadvertently starts a rumour that she lost her virginity to an imaginary boy who she uses fake dates with to get out of events she doesn't want to attend. Once the rumour spreads, Olive gets labeled just about every word you can imagine that means "promiscuous", but decides to make the best of it. She starts a business with some of the nerdier guys where if they pay her, they can claim they had relations with her. It's a clever premise and something I wouldn't typically expect from a highschool movie, but that's what makes it good. "Easy A' is able to balance an intelligent plot and character with all of the crazy and stupid emotions that go along with being in highschool.
Emma Stone is on fire as Olive. It feels like the role she was born to play. She brings the character a real sense of clever wit, but not like the somewhat mean spirited kind I always found that characters like Ellen Page in "Juno" had. She genuinely just seems like she's having fun with it, and it's fun to watch her too. Considering the movie is focused almost entirely on one character, they needed a talented actress for it, and they sure found it. The supporting cast is great aswell. I thouroughly enjoyed all of Olive's family, particularly the always reliable Stanley Tucci as her father. Thomas Hayden Church is also pretty funny as Olive's favourite, overly cliche teacher, as well as a surprisingly good Lisa Kudrow as his wife. The only real disappointment I found was Amanda Bynes as the films antagonist. She just didn't come off as being beleivably evil, devoutly religious, bitchy, or any of the other traits that defined her character. I guess she's not "All That" anymore.
The screenplay is probably the other highlight of "Easy A". It's able to fuse a classic tale, "The Scarlet Letter", with plenty of references throughout to the great highschool movies of the 80s, and it does it all in a very self aware way that's both making fun of them, praising them and adding a modern twist to them. Add on some genuinely realistic sounding dialog that's also witty and hilarious without ever being to reliant on jokes and you've got one of the best and most original comedies I've seen in the past few years.
Like any comedy these days, there isn't much thought put into the more artistic aspects of the film. The shot composition is average, but I did enjoy a lot of tracking shots through the school, particularly the very well executed time-lapse shots showing the various rumours spreading. It's not amazing, but with any comedy the bulk of the weight is really on the actors and writing, and as I mentioned they both deliver well.
There isn't really a whole lot more that I can say besides that I really recommend "Easy A'. I loved every second of it. I wish they made more highschool movies with this sort of cheezy but awesome appeal these days instead of all these crappy, overdramatic ones that seemed to have come out of a generation raised on "Dawson's Creek". It's a fun movie, a heartfelt movie, and memorable one. I'd watch it again without question, if not just for Emma Stone's awesome performance. I definitely hope she becomes a huge star in the future, she has all the signs of a great one.