Saturday, June 11, 2011

Easy A

            I love Mean Girls.  It’s one of the best high school movies I’ve ever seen.  It’s smart, it’s witty, it’s acted well, and it’s a satire of an aspect of high school nobody likes but everybody deals with.  I bring this up because Easy A is at least as good, if not better, than Mean Girls.
            Olive (Emma Stone) is pretty much a nobody at her high school.  She has no social life and she doesn’t really care.  Then she gives one lie to her friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) about losing her virginity…which, unfortunately, the resident school Christian Marianne (Amanda Bynes, who will likely be acting in high school movies for the rest of her life) also hears, and pretty soon the rumor has spread throughout the whole school, eventually elevating to Olive getting paid by boys so they can say they had sex with her.
            The casting of Emma Stone might very well be the best part of the movie.  She’s charming, with a sharp tongue and a constantly running narration (set as her talking to a webcam).  She makes some terrible decisions throughout the movie, sliding further down a slippery slope, but you understand her character and never turn against her.  The writing sets her character, but it’s Stone that makes sure that the character is likable.
            The writing in general is smart, witty and fast-paced.  It has some references to The Scarlet Letter, and exposits the book in a quick and entertaining way, while simultaneously nodding to John Hughes 80s movies.  It also makes sure never to get too bogged down in drama.  Despite the serious topics that the movie occasionally deals with, it keeps a light-hearted tone about them.  It does slow down a bit in one of those requisite moments where Olive realizes that she really needs to turn things around, but even then, it makes sure to switch back to jokes fairly quickly.
            Easy A is just a fun, enjoyable movie to watch.  It’s light and funny, while also being intelligent and satirizing high school gossip and relationships.  It has some of the requisites of the genre, while also being unique on its own.  I don’t know how many high school movies I’ve seen that reference Sylvia Plath’s suicide when a boy asks the lead out on a date, but I can tell you that any movie which does is instantly a classic in my book.

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