The “A” in Easy A must stand for “amazingly,” as in “amazingly funny,” “amazingly written,” or “amazingly enjoyable.” Easy A is romantic comedy, and while the focal point is distinctly the later, it does it with a nice slice of the former.
This is the story of Olive Penderghast, whose life begins to parallel that of Hester Prynn’s from The Scarlet Letter. After a little white lie gets out, she decides to use the school’s rumor mill to her full advantage. Written Bert V. Royal, directed Will Gluck, it stars Emma Stone as Olive and Amanda Bynes as Marianne. While the heart of Easy A may be inspired by the 1850 works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the soul is that of a classic 80’s teen romantic comedy.
Royal, fresh out of the gate on his first feature screenplay, has truly hit a home run. After seeing Easy A, I believe that Royal could join the likes of Cameron Crowe and John Hughes as a writer who taps into that tiny piece of our minds that is forever a teenager and gives us (especially those of us over 30) a trip down memory lane. I can’t forget Gluck, as he did a marvelous job of taking Royal’s writing and bringing it to life in such a way that it brought me back to my teens.
Stone’s portrayal of Olive is well-delivered and her narration of the story via a webcam is both perceptive and hysterical at the same time.On the flipside, her BFF Rhiannon completely confused me. I just didn’t get the bipolar reactions from her. But I am a guy and I am used to being confused by women, so I let that one go. I adored Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Emma’s parents; they are the type of parent I will aspire to be. They are loving, caring, worry for her, but do it all with amazing grace and humor.
There were two small things in the movie that edged on improbable. First, would it really create such a scandal and rumors in your typical California high school when a teenage girl lost her virginity? A poll taken in 2002 showed that the average age a woman lost her virginity was at 17, and that was eight years ago.
The other thing that I raised an eyebrow at was the “pop culture” references that Olive chose. I don’t want to give away more details other than to say they were awesome for me... being over 35. But I am not sure if Olive - who would have been born in 1993 - would default to references dating back years before she was even born.
Those minor things aside, I absolutely loved the movie. I will easily add Easy A to my collection of comedies such as Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Say Anything. There are a lot laugh-out-loud moments in the movie. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun comedy. While the movie is technically a “teen comedy,” as mentioned above, if you are no longer a teen you will still enjoy it very much.
I went and saw the movie with a few friends who were on the fence about seeing it. But in the end, all of us left the theater laughing and quoting our favorite scenes or lines. Because only those who have seen the movie will understand it, (and it won’t give anything away*) I will share mine: “I got a pocket got a pocketful of sunshine and I got a love and i know that it's all mine, oh oh.”
* I want to offer an apology to the Movie Fanatic fans who read my Going the Distance review before seeing the movie. I am sorry I did not have any spoiler warnings and hope you will forgive me for giving away part of the ending.