I had an amazing night last night. My friend Greta and I went to a free screening of Easy A (thanks twitter!) in Chinatown, and then after the movie we got crepes and ate Nutella, banana and strawberry goodness while we walked back to the Metro. Seriously? YUM. Of course, the night wouldn’t have been nearly as fun if Easy A hadn’t been really great entertainment. Simply put? It rocked. And so, while I don’t usually give films the ‘review’ treatment, I’m going to be a fangirl and tell you how much I liked it. Brace yourselves.
After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in The Scarlet Letter, which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.
A clever, funny, fast-paced comedy that will reach beyond its 'target' teen audience, Easy A was an A+ in my book. Emma Stone plays Olive, the girl with the ‘A’ on her chest. I know and love Emma from Zombieland, where she pulled off scared-awesome-harda$$ very well. In this flick she’s part of a great family, but off the radar as far as boys and high school popularity go. And then things get interesting…
Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, who play the parents of Emma Stone's character, were sparkling, witty, the parents-you-always-wanted-until-they-do-something-ridiculously-embarrassing (oh wait, those ARE my parents!), and my absolute favorite part of the film. Best scene? Tucci goes to Stone's room to check on her, and tells here that's there's no judgment (referring to her supposed gay boyfriend), that he went through a gay phase too. That everyone does. That line had the whole audience dying.
As we were walking out of the theater, Greta mentioned that the film was kind of like Mean Girls. I agree to a certain extent. It’s funny, tightly written, and there are some highly talented actors attached to the project. It also takes the form of a confession, and the protagonist goes from obscurity to popularity via the high school rumor mill. But while both films share those connections, I felt more satisfied at the end of Easy A. I think it’s because the film has a narrower vision. It’s essentially the story of one girl, not a group of girls. The focus isn’t as wide and the resolution is believable because it all plays out on a smaller stage.
Since this is a real review, I have to mention what I didn’t like about the film (answer: not much). BUT…I’ll admit that I hated the portrayal of the ‘bad guys.’ Amanda Bynes, you were SO over the top. I couldn’t take the Christians seriously as judgmental, close-minded crazies (thank goodness on that point!) because it went beyond belief. I mean, I know that there are fanatics in any group of people, but this version seemed as if [insert name of talk show host here] were inhabiting the body of a teenage girl. Movies about teens aren’t known for their subtlety, but that was one point where this story could have dialed it down a notch. Again – it didn’t take away from my essential enjoyment of the film.
So, what does this add up to? Cute, funny, not completely clichéd story + terrific performances + an amazing musical score = the best night I've had in a while. Oh, and Penn Badgley's abs in blue paint didn't hurt either.
Recommended for: teens, their parents (yikes!), anyone who felt a bit like an outsider in high school, and anyone who didn’t too. This is all around good fun for (almost) all ages. You know, PG-13 and up sort of ages. Go see it! You’ll laugh at LEAST three times. I promise.