"a tale of popularity and the lengths people will go to achieve it"
In a film about the escalation of a simple white lie, the reports that ‘Easy A’ is being touted as one of the most charming and well-written comedies of recent years, even this side of the millennium, could be seen as ironic - except that this is far from being a lie.
Easy A is a tale of popularity and the lengths people will go to achieve it. Olive (Emma Stone) is a smart yet vulnerable character who has failed to make an impression on her peers at school. However, after fibbing to her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) that she slept with a guy over the weekend - a conversation overheard by religious freak Marianne (Amanda Bynes) - her ‘secret’ escalates and spirals out of control, and before she knows it, Olive is being paid by the ostracised pupils at school to pretend that she has been fooling around with them. An indictment into the social networking age we currently live in and the speed in which gossip travels; it’s a story of an innocent girl turning bad, except without actually turning bad at all.
Based around Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel ‘The Scarlet Letter’, Easy A is a cut above your average high-school comedy. With various cultural references to the teen movies of the 1980’s, Easy A is a homage to the likes of ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’, as its approach to American High school is as crude, yet quirky, as the 80’s classics.
The older members of the cast in ‘Easy A’ are worth going for alone. Despite the wonderful performance by the young Emma Stone, who is worthy of stealing the headlines, Olive’s parents (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson) provide a hilarious and somewhat sensational, take on modern parenting. Discovering Olive’s parents and finding out exactly where she’s come from, makes the audience fully comprehend why they have grown to adore her as much as they do.
And a mention must also go to an amusing though ever-so-short cameo from Malcolm McDowell as the school head teacher.
However, despite the humorous and engaging aspects of the film, it is Emma Stone’s good looks and witty persona that could cause the film’s undoing. The character Olive is supposed to have gone unnoticed at school and barely attracts any attention – hence the reason she decides to pretend to be a sexual deviant in order to attain a reputation. However, for such an intelligent, funny and attractive girl, it’s hard to believe that she would have gone unnoticed, as she is almost as unnoticeable as Betty is ugly.
Despite that, ‘Easy A’ is a delightful film. Its intelligent and somewhat eccentric script, combined with fine performances by the leading roles, make for a really enjoyable watch and will no doubt accelerate Emma Stone to Hollywood stardom. If you go into Easy A expecting a timeless classic, prepare to be disappointed, but if you go to watch a funny, quirky and enjoyable movie, then you’re in for a treat.