BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 29, 2010
“Easy A” is a refreshing teen comedy that evokes the heart of classic 90’s teen dramas with the ability to remain current and relevant. Emma Stone at the film’s helm makes the experience entirely worth it. There are literary and cinematic references wrapped with a bright and sexy bow on top.
For the most part, audiences understand “The Scarlet Letter” references. A woman who essentially commits adultery is branded with a red “A” to mark her discretion. Most do not pick up on the intention of everyone else involved, which is highlighted nicely in “Easy A.” Essentially, Emma Stone’s character Olive gets caught up in a lie that is told to a friend to get out of a camping trip. Though lying is not the most faltering attribute, Olive still stands on the moral ground compared to those using her. Behind the comedy of this film, there is a bigger picture at work.
A considerable buzz towards “Easy A” places it way too over the top and not plausible, but that alone acquires the essence of a teen drama. If the producers were believable, they would have gone for it. That is why a film like “500 Days of Summer” exists. To be funny yet true to life, creating an emotional gambit full of raw enthusiasm. “Easy A” is catty and out of proportion, indirect, yet contains a statement; it works. Sure, the plot is ridiculous, and reactions from the crowd of extras are unbelievable. Look at any teen drama, like “She’s All That” and “10 Things I Hate About You,” and realize that teen drama has always carried these attributes.
Emma Stone is an old soul. She radiates the maturity of an adult, and her wisecracking resembles that of someone twice her age. With Stone, “Easy A” may not stand on its own two legs. The rest of the cast fills out nicely, with the return to the acting of Amanda Bynes and the elder form like Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson that make this film cross the line from “National Lampoon” to original and witty, worthy of its own categorizing.
Topped with an excellent soundtrack, “Good Life” by OneRepublic grabs the slow and gentle side of the film, and “Change of Seasons” by Sweet Thing catches the beautiful quirkiness of the film. The music stands out from the opening credits placed in the schoolyard grass to the 90’s movies’ homage and the side of the road closing credits.
“Easy A” carries a style all its own, emanating from the strange Emma Stone. It is worthy of being esteemed in future years when struggling teenagers turn to the cinema to satisfy their assimilation bustle. Though it may appear detached from certain critics, “Easy A” meets me on an emotional level and does so with grace and poise.
September 17, 2010
Bert V. Royal
(for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material)
Thomas Haden Church