Easy A (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/10/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Enjoyable, frequently funny teen comedy with a witty script, great characters and an utterly charming central performance from Emma Stone.

What's it all about?
Directed by Will Gluck, Easy A is loosely inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and stars Emma Stone as invisible high school student Olive, who tells her best friend (Aly Michalka) an invented story about losing her virginity and accidentally acquires a reputation as a nymphomaniac when she's overheard by gossipy God-botherer Marianne (Amanda Bynes). When her gay classmate Brandon (Dan Byrd) asks her to pretend to sleep with him so he can escape the daily homophobic bullying, Olive agrees and soon the school's outcasts are queueing up for the social prestige her fake sex services can provide.

Naturally, it isn't long before it all gets out of hand, so Olive begins filming a confessional webcast in the hopes of restoring her reputation.

The Good
Stone is utterly charming, displaying great comic timing and delivering some whip-smart one-liners, though it's admittedly hard to believe that her drop-dead gorgeousness would have gone unnoticed in a school full of hormone ravaged teenagers. There's also great comic support from a superb cast that includes Thomas Haden Church (as Olive's favourite teacher) and Lisa Kudrow (as the school counsellor), though the supporting honours are roundly stolen by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci, who are hilarious as Olive's too-liberal-to-be-true parents.

In addition, there's good work from Bynes and Michalka, though Byrd is regrettably underused (you expect him to become Olive's gay best friend but his character just disappears) and you can't help feeling the story would have been stronger without token love interest Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl's Dan Humphrey).

The Great
The script crackles with great dialogue and quotable lines, but unlike other teen reworkings of the classics (e.g. Ten Things I Hate About You), it rather overdoes the Scarlet Letter references, although it does at least get some good jokes in at the expense of the rubbish Demi Moore version. There are also several clunky (if crowd pleasing) John Hughes references, though the film actually has more in common with the likes of Clueless and Mean Girls, with Stone herself reminiscent of Lindsay Lohan back before (oh, the irony) Lohan destroyed her own reputation.

Worth seeing?
While not the quite the instant classic it desperately wants to be, this is still an entertaining teen comedy thanks to a witty script and strong comic performances. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Easy A (15)
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Content updated: 21/04/2019 23:01

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