Teen comedies fall into two categories: mind numbingly awful that reminds you why you are happy high school is over or John Hughes-esque classics that make you reminisce of the bitter sweetness of adolescence. Easy A tries earnestly to be the latter one in that category but comes up a lit bit short. However, that doesn’t mean watching them try is any less entertaining.
Written by: Bert V Royal
Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley
Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) finds her squeaky clean reputation blemished when a white lie gets out of control. Instead of confessing to her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) that she did nothing over the weekend, she lies about having sex with an imaginary college freshman. Word of Olive’s lost virginity rapidly spreads around campus and soon she is helping her bullied peers by lying to the entire school about having sex with them in order to boost their social ranking. Paralleling Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, which she is also studying in school (shocker), Olive soon goes from a nobody to a glorified harlot. At first relishing in the new found attention, Olive quickly learns being noticed for the wrong reasons isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
The plot of this movie and all the twist and turns are downright ridiculous and unbelievable. This is especially true about Lisa Kudrow’s storyline who plays probably the worst guidance counselor in recorded history. The movie does provide plenty of chuckles though which helps the viewer set aside the crazy antics of the plot.
The cast is a cohesive group of actors. Michalka is endearing as the big mouthed best friend. Amanda Bynes is hilarious as the Jesus zealot who is out to ruin Olive. Penn Badgley proves he can be dreamy not just on TV but on the big screen too as Todd, Olive’s love interest. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson shine as Olive’s parents.
However, Stone is the one that really carries this movie and makes it enjoyable. While she might be playing an unnoticeable teen in high school (in what school does a beauty like Stone go unnoticed?) Hollywood better take note of this ingenue. Given the right role, Stone could easily become the next Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock.
Stone is charming and so gosh darn likable as Olive. She is the kind of girl you wished you knew in high school but didn’t because she didn’t exist. The intelligent wit and self awareness of the dialogue could come off as pretentious but Stone handles it with ease.
Overall, Easy A is a pleasant ride and falls somewhere in between guilty pleasure and teen classic.