Saturday, 21 April 2012

Easy A (2010)

It might just be because I'm pretty much slap in the middle of the target demographic (insecure 19 year old who gets emotionally involved in films ridiculously easily), but I really loved this. It has a great charming quality to it in a way that I haven't got from a movie in a while, probably since Fantastic Mr Fox. That stems from the caricature view of the high-school life you get, I think. Things like the ultra-christian group with the signs and flyers and what not are a bit out there, and literally everyone turning to watch Olive as she walks down the hall; they're a bit unrealistic until you remember that we're just getting Olive's account of how everything went down, so of course it's going to be a little exaggerated.

The charm is thanks in buckets to the humour, which in turn owes itself to the cast. Olive's parent's in particular stand out as great secondary characters with some hilarious moments. Little gags like the gay boyfriend and the brother's parents instantly warm you to them. Of course, Emma Stone stands out as Olive. It's a great performance, convincing both in delivery of one-liners and of heartfelt emotion. I genuinely felt bad for her in the scene towards the end where she reflects on what happened to her teacher and his wife. But similarly, her comic timing is great and her sassy, deadpan delivery had me laughing out loud throughout. I reckon she might be one to watch in the future.

The only real weak point was the whole Scarlet Letter parallel. It felt a bit unnecessary and just made Olive come off as a bit pretentious. I guess it is a believable thing that a younger teen would do in an effort to make a statement though. They do kind of draw attention to it with the whole "you always seem to study something that reflects your life" line, which can easily be turned around to mean that Olive is just projecting onto it.

It's not the sort of film that generally appeals to me, but I really got a kick out of it. It reminds me a lot of (and probably owes a lot to) Mean Girls, which also falls under the umbrella of "the sort of films I typically don't like but actually loved".

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