Thursday, January 20, 2011

Easy A - DVD Review

lll 1/4

Starring Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Cam Gigandet, Dan Byrd, Lisa Kudrow, Penn Badgeley, Malcolm McDowell and Aly Michalka.
Directed by Will Gluck.

Emma Stone has rendered a Lindsay Lohan comeback unnecessary. Ms. Stone exudes all the charm and nuance Ms. Lohan did in her Freaky Friday/Mean Girls heyday, and yet Ms. Stone seems to have her heads on her shoulders. May Ms. Stone not blow this opportunity.

I've liked Emma since Zombieland, and here she is in her own John Hughes homage of a movie with as solid a defining role that compares favorably to Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Winona Ryder in Heathers, and Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles.

This movie is very self-aware, to the point there's one too many references to teen cliches, but ultimately it doesn't matter. It's a modern spin on The Scarlet Letter, a book the kids at this high school are studying (and I inwardly cheered each time they bashed the Demi Moore version), when Olive (Emma Stone) decides to do a closeted-gay friend a favor and pretends to have sex with him. He becomes popular and so does she. Soon insecure guys are coming out of the woodwork to ask her to pretend to have sex with them too. This makes Olive the target of scorn from the Christian Caricature Club. I don't remember the group's real name but we only see people this Jesus-freaky when portrayed by Hollywood.

Olive is a great character, but the movie is buoyed by its colorful supporting cast. Among the winners are Stanley Tucci & Patricia Clarkson as Olive's hippie-perfect parents, Thomas Haden Church as the cool teacher, and Malcolm MacDowell as the serious principal.

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