Easy A Reviews
Positives: Emma Stone carrying it all.
Attempting to avoid the indignity of spending a boring weekend at home listening to the same dreadful top 40 bubblegum song, professional overachiever Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) placates her overzealous best friend Rhiannon (Aly Michalka) with a little white lie.
Embellishing and exaggerating, Olive falsely gushes about loosing her virginal status (V-card) in a weekend filled of debauchery with an imaginary frat boy. Unluckily for Olive, her little promiscuous boasting session is overheard by the school's bitchy evangelical crusader Marianne (Amanda Bynes).
Within a second, Marianne with her arsenal of contemporary weapons of mass character assassination; sets the school yard a-twitter over every juicy detail. Olive's alleged faux-ginity losing landmark right of passage is exposed, and as the legend grows it becomes mission impossible for Olive to set the story straight.
Initially basking in the spotlight of her new found popularity and bimbo status, Olive decides not to deny rumours. Finding humour in becoming the Google Earth size target of scorn and slander, and unwanted attention from those who didn't know she existed.
Olive, armed with the misguided interpretation of advice from her socially critical English teacher Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church) and the classes highly appropriate reading assignment Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Scarlet Letter; realises an opportunity.
Adapting her wardrobe to complement and reflect her sullied reputation, Olive fashionably pastes an emblazoned red 'A' across her breast and offers up her tattered reputation for the betterment of the school's status-challenged and disenfranchised male populous.
Successfully portraying a fake tryst with her gay best friend Brandon (Dan Byrd), a surge in demand for Olive's fictional favors and their empowering afterglow leaves Olive's lies compounded. However, the rumors of her ill-repute eventually manifests itself in an attempted case of car park date-rape and her unplanned social experiment takes on a demonic life of its own.
With its juicy upside down premise and delectable plot, 'Easy A' endeavours to hit the same Gen-Y indi-note as 'Juno'. Sadly however, Gen-X Writer Bert V. Royal has quite blatantly trawled the 80's annals of cult teen film fandom and attempted to cramp an entire oeuvre of John Hughes references into this one cross-generationally confused film.
They always say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in one instance this movie almost beats its predecessor. Borrowed from 1989's Heathers, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci play Olive's witty non-conformist liberal parents. As wonderfully idyllic caricatures the banter flows easily in an offbeat rhythm with Emma Stone's nonchalant alterna-cool edginess.
Plotting takes a dive towards the final act as the Hollywood machine steps in; reverting to a mish-mash of '16 Candles', 'The Breakfast Club', 'Say Anything' and 'Can't by me love'. Marry that with a premise loosely based on a virtual prostitute version of 'The Scarlett Letter'; originally in this film is at a premium.
The Verdict: As President of the Cross Your Heart Club, Amanda Bynes exaggerates her parodied character beyond permissible comic proportions. Luckily, she is not the major subject of this film and Emma Stone's far superior acting ability keeps the film in check. When it comes to sarcasm; redhead's just do it better.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 24/09/2010