Now Playing Review – Easy A

The idea that high school is something teenagers have to survive is not new to the screen.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer literally set the school on top of a gateway to Hell just to make sure the audience didn’t miss this idea.  In its own way Easy A keeps this same idea in mind, just going the route of Mean Girls. Comparisons have already been made linking these two films in many ways, but there is no need to worry because Easy A is hardly a rip off of this fan favorite, and if everything goes as it should, it will most likely become one itself.

Easy A follows an invisible high school girl who gets a taste for the spotlight when she agrees to fake sexy time with a friend to prevent him from further getting beat up for being gay.  Once they “do the deed” he is cheered for becoming a man while she is quickly cast in a darker spotlight for being a promiscuous harlot; yet in Olive’s mind any light is better than no light.  To further her newfound fame due to the schools overworking rumor mill she agrees to do the same thing for other boys, but as these things do everything quickly gets out of hand.

As mentioned before a lot of comparisons will be made to Mean Girls because of the story of an outcast girl changing herself for the sake of popularity, and in all honesty this is not the only thing that seems familiar about this film.  With that said, this blatantly honest, yet satirical representation of the high school experience still manages to feel completely original even though it is structured on top of a firm base, making familiar ideas seem completely fresh.  What helps is the sharpness of the dialog, which provides a lot of lines that will probably become as quoted as Tina Fey’s screenplay has.  Not only that, but the script has provided yet another amazingly strong female character.  Sure Olive gets called a whore left and right, which may seem like a demotion for the feminists out there, but she is as quick witted and strong willed as the best of them, putting her on par with such characters as Juno and Veronica Mars.  Just think of all the awesomeness that would come out of a conversation between the three of them…

Not enough praise can be put towards the script, but in all honesty it could have gone down in flames had the film not had the cast that it does, which includes a phenomenal supporting cast.  Because of the acting chops of the seasoned Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci, as well as a surprise showing from younger actors who should not be underestimated, such as Penn Badgley, Alyson Michalka, Dan Byrd, and Amanda Bynes, such ridiculous dialog and characterizations seem completely normal and fitting for this world.  However, it would be impossible not to single out Emma Stone for her starring role as Olive, who puts all questions about her future as a leading talent to rest thanks to her perfected comedic timing and ability to pull off the dramatic scenes as well.

To be nitpicky I could complain about the large amount of voiceover from Olive’s character (which I have always been on the fence about when it comes to overuse), but I won’t because it is completely warranted in the end.  And I could also complain about the over-the-top religious aspect (do they even allow that much Bible hugging at public schools?) but I won’t because of the connection to source material of The Scarlet Letter.  Basically it is safe to say that though Easy A does have a few things that might sit awkwardly with me personally, the pros of the film pile up too quickly to truly care about the other side of the list.

Final Grade: It gets an A(-) easily.  Oh ho ho I’m so witty…

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