Sunday, February 2, 2014

Easy A (2010) [PG-13] ****

Olive (Emma Stone) is a pretty, but socially invisible, high school student in the beautiful town of Ojai, California (40 mi. east of Santa Barbara, 25 mi. north of Ventura). Fascinated by the story of Hester Prynne, the adulteress in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 19th-century novel The Scarlet Letter, Olive decides that she can boost her popularity by pretending to be sexually active. To impress her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) Olive invents a hot date with an imaginary community college student, but when the chaste and pious Marianne (Amanda Bynes) overhears Olive and Rhiannon talking in the bathroom, it's not long before the rumor mill is working overtime, and Olive finds herself branded as the school slut. No longer socially invisible, Olive begins accepting money and gifts from male students who want to boast that they've had sex with her. She soon discovers that while her notoriety is increasing, her social standing is rapidly declining, and she realizes that, at some point, she's got to come clean and recover her self-esteem, even at the risk of her popularity.

This is a light, entertaining teen comedy, one that has all the typical characters and the typical teen comedy set pieces. The production values are excellent, as is the supporting cast, including Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow as husband and wife who are Olive's English teacher and guidance counselor, respectively, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Olive's parents, and Penn Badgley as Todd, Olive's real love interest. 

But this is Emma Stone's film, and she is on-screen virtually the entire film. Emma is smart, witty, wonderfully talented, and irresistibly charming, with a wide range of facial expressions, a great sense of physical comedy and amazing comedic timing. It's obvious that she has the screen presence and the acting chops to open a film, in a way that many other young actresses (for instance Alexis Bledel and Amanda Bynes) cannot. If you've enjoyed good teen comedies like Ferris Bueller's Day OffShe's All That, She's the Man, Some Kind of Wonderful, and 10 Things I Hate About You, or you enjoyed Emma Stone in Crazy, Stupid, Love, then you're going to enjoy Easy A

Labels: comedy, high school, romance, teenager   
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 72/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=71, viewers=76)    

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