Will Gluck. Screen Gems, 2010. Starring Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, and Thomas Hayden Church.
Genre: Comedy Romance.
Question: Raise your hand if you think John Hughes wrote (and directed) some great movies about high school? Yep, me too. Well, the filmmakers of Easy A apparently thought the same thing - or they wouldn't have referenced some of his most iconic films for this modern high school story.
I wasn't so sure I would enjoy watching Easy A - mainly because I am so far removed from my own high school days that I didn't think I could relate. Also, the kids today have so much more to contend with; and due to the warp speed gossiping portals (texting, email, and webcam discussions) I thought I might not be able to understand the current high school dilemmas. But I was proved wrong.
Easy A takes the topic of rumors and their devastating and destructive power all with a comedic twist. One student, who has no notoriety in her school, soon becomes the topic for everyone's conversations due to one lie. It grows as she perpetuates the myths enjoying the attention but as with most hubris - it usually comes back to bite you in the-you-know-where!
The part that I liked about this film was the references to some John Hughes classics and how the main character kept hoping she could live in one - now that is something that I could understand. Didn't most kids at my age think the same thing? (I wonder)
Does Easy A go over the top a bit trying to make a point? Of course! But that is today's interpretation of high school. I thought Emma Stone, the main character, did a great job as the troubled teen trying to get out of her own mess. Her love interest - although cute - kind of left me wondering 'what was the attraction?' He seemed a little too removed to be such a draw for her. Also, Amanda Bynes, and her posse, played religious fanatics that want to "save" Emma Stone's character and that reminded of a another teen movie - that I can't quite place my finger on. It seemed generic - is what I am trying to say.
Even though I thought Amanda Bynes character was contrived, it did have some significance. The title of the movie, Easy A, is a play on "The Scarlett Letter" and if you know that story - and every high school kid should - it makes sense to have someone "condemn" the protagonist for her "rumored" promiscuousness. Again, the filmmakers just took it a bit too far for my taste.
So, all-in-all, it was a decent film that I think old and young alike can relate to its theme. Plus, there are some modern twists and unusual characters that helped maintained a level of interest for me.
My favorite thing: The references to the Scarlett Letter movie. Very Funny!
My least favorite thing: The relationship with her best friend.
Did the previews ruin it by showing too much? Well, it has been awhile since I saw them but I do remember seeing pretty much the whole story when I saw them.
Length: 92 minutes
Review: 5 out of 10