Sunday, 22 May 2011

DVD Review: Easy A

Rating: 5.3/10 - Average

Saying I was excited to see this film would be quite the understatement. I had heard only good things about it and I've been a an Emma Stone groupie-fanboy since Zombieland came out so this film was destined to be one of my favourite comedies of all time.

Director: Will Gluck. Screenplay: Bert V. Royal. Producers: Will Gluck and Zanne Devine. Cinematographer: Micahel Grady. Editor: Susan Littenberg. Score: Brad Segal. Distributor: Screen Gems. Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgely, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow, Aly Michalka and Stanley Tucci. Running Time: 92 Minutes.

Disappointing. Terribly disappointing. These were the first thoughts to cross my mind when the end credits started playing as this film came to an end. Emma Stone does her best to keep things entertaining but there's only so much she can do without the foundation of a good script to fall back on. Even now I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. Sometimes it tries hard to be a laugh out loud teen comedy and at other times it tries even harder to be a heartwarming indie teen drama. Problem is, it succeeds at neither. This Jack Of Two Trades of a film masters none and instead ends up being more of a John Doe as far a great films go.

The story centers around Olive (Emma Stone), a high school student has the misfortune of being a virgin at the ripe old age of 16. It doesn't help that she isn't Miss Popularity either and boys don't find her attractive because, at the ripe old age of 16, she hasn't had any plastic surgery yet and thus does not possess the requisite big ass and big tits that 99% of boys desire in a girl (the other 1% aren't into girls at all). This is the 21st century after all and girls aren't supposed to be intelligent, witty and self-assured in a non-sexualised manner unless they wear chastity belts and live in a convent.

Olive, in a perfectly reasonable attempt to avoid spending a weekend away with her best friend Rhiannon (Aly Michalka) and her creepy, hippy parents invents a lie about having to spend said weekend with her boyfriend. Except that she doesn't really have a boyfriend and so she does the next best thing and makes one up. In reality she spends the entire weekend listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful Of Sunshine"and by the time Rhiannon comes back, Olive digs an even deeper hole for herself by hinting that she actually spent the weekend having sex with her imaginary boyfriend instead of just admitting she didn't want to go away with her. Unfortunately the school's arch-Christian and arch-gossipmonger (the same person) overhears her confession and within a few days the entire school knows every sordid detail of her "sex life". The funny thing is she was mercilessly teased for being a virgin and now that she's supposedly sleeping with one guy she is being called a slut. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Olive ends up being convinced by a gay friend to fake sleeping with him so that his homophobic bullies get off his case but soon enough she's gets similar offers from every nerd, geek and jerk at the school who can't get a real girlfriend. It's like a high school version of David Cronenberg's The Girlfriend Experience without any actual sex happening. Eventually her super-slutty-skank status blasts of into the stratosphere and although she initially revels in it, things predictably start to go pear-shaped and she has to try and find a way to undo all the lies and deceit. Good luck with that!

The moral of the story is that small lies have a nasty, snowball-like habit tendency of expanding into bigger and lies so one should perhaps avoid lying by all means necessary. Other than that this is about as run of the mill and as forgettable a film as you'll ever see.

Verdict: Even Emma Stone can't save what is initially a likeable film from sliding into the depths of mediocrity. Easy D would've been better title because that's the symbol I'm assigning for this film.

Easy A is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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