Thursday, 8 March 2012

Easy A

Someone sound the alarm! This film is quirky enough to be reading 8.3 on the Deschanel Scale. The film is the story of a smart but largely unknown high school student called Olive (Emma Stone) who lies about losing her virginity. The lie cascades and changes the way she is perceived at school eventually bringing about trouble in her life and those around her.

I have to say I was quite disappointed with the film. I’d heard very good things and although I probably fall outside its target demographic now at age 26, good teen comedies are still good no matter what age you are. The problem for me is that it isn’t anywhere near funny enough and although it is an interesting idea, it isn’t very interesting. I’m aware that I’m becoming increasingly cynical but a happy ever after ending was never in doubt so I just spent 90 minutes waiting for it. As I said though, it is an interesting idea. The idea that losing your virginity changes the way people see you, judge you and interact with you as well as the way you see yourself is one that merits looking at but the film lets the concept down.

Another problem is that all of the high school students look like they are in their mid twenties. After a quick Google search I discovered that Stone, 21 at the time of release was the youngest of the main High School cast by a couple of years. One of them is 29! Add this to the ridiculous ‘Hollywood’ High School that the characters are in and the backdrop to the story doesn’t feel very real. That being said, the characters are quite well written. There are obvious stereotypes as you’d expect in any teen movie (geeks, jocks, sluts, religious weirdoes) but they are well defined and well written. Olive’s nemesis in particular is a well written and well acted annoying Jesus-person. The acting on the whole is also good. Stone delivers a confident performance that gained the attention of critics and award’s judges and she is surrounded by a decent young cast and experienced older cast which includes Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell and Lisa Kudrow who takes the film past 8.5 on the Deschanel scale. Olive’s family is one of those open, liberal, funny families that could be really annoying but I quite liked them and found most of the film’s laughs in their company.

Part of the film is told with Olive (Stone) talking into her webcam. While blogging etc are obviously popular among young people, I didn’t like it and it felt like a bit of a cop out. It also increased the kooky factor which was already dangerously high. The reason became clear towards the end of the film but it just felt like the film was pandering to its audience. The film plays it safe with the message it delivers regarding sex. Both sides are fairly well presented with the case for abstinence and sex being discussed, but in the end the film plays it down the middle as you’d expect of a mainstream teen movie.

It’s a shame that the film is as dull as it is because there is an interesting story at the heart of it and features a worthy cast, acting admirably. There are just no where near enough laughs and the script is quite weak.


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