Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy A : Movie Review

Today I get to be on a soapbox. I know that critics are supposed to stick with their opinion of the movie and not go off on tangents but this film brought up some cliché’s that until now I have been able to stomach. First though, I’ll give you my review of Easy A as a movie…not a societal statement. Easy A follows Olive who is goaded into a lie about being promiscuous. While she doesn’t really do any of the things she is rumored to do, she uses her notoriety to help those that have image problems by letting it seem that they scored with the school tramp. Yeah, I dunno what prompted me to see it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Easy A is a likable, funny and enjoyable film. Most of that credit goes to Emma Stone who’s sense of depreciating humor, raspy self awareness and wide eyed I Love Lucy sort of physical reactions bind her character to the audience. It is nice to see a young woman portrayed as confident, self assured and strong…except when she’s not. More on that later. Her parents played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are at the peak of their heavenly married banter and seem to genuinely like each other’s company. Their grounded personalities and outrageous sense of humors match closely with their daughters’ dispositions.

As far as actors go however, I’m afraid that’s all who brought their game. Of course some may find Thomas Hayden Church’s wry teacher a great role but its pretty much the same role he has played since Sideways. I do credit the scriptwriting with some snappy dialogue and playful banter. The ever-dreaded high school movie voice over is cleverly masked as a video-cast that becomes essential to the plot of the film. Everything else serves it’s purpose hear, including come of the clichéd characters (if you’re religious, you must be a psychotic wench), token hip music videos and references to pop culture (there was actually a pretty moving tribute to John Hughes…well played filmmakers, except anyone still in high school would have no clue what most of those movies are).

Now begins my Rant. Turn this review off if you prefer the women in your movies being seen as sexual marks, or really do think all guys are slimy jerks, or that religion is the poison of society. This film could have been Mean Girls or Clueless great if it weren’t so dang preachy. I am glad that the Main protagonist seemed so strong…but then why would she hide behind such a heinous lie? Not only that but don’t you think someone with that much wit and knowledge could have come up with something better. Yeah, Yeah…I know that this was the plot and that people make mistakes…I just hated to see the scriptwriters assume that everything in High School is about sex and therefore had to make her issues all about that. Was she really that one-dimensional? The girls I knew in High school were sweet, complicated and yeah, sometimes made fools of themselves. The difference here is that their lives didn’t revolve around the perception of sexual conquest.

Don’t even get me started about the guys or the rest of the school for that matter. I agree, Parts of high c\school and the pressure there is totally horrible. I did feel judged and had problems fitting in. But the film portrays every single person in this school as out for blood, willing to destroy anyone. Everyone was so selfish, hurtful and bigoted that nothing seemed fun at all. Sorry, but the majority of the people I knew in High School were good natures, well intentioned and very friendly. Granted…there was the gossip mill but it was never strong enough to ruin anyone and most people let it slide quite quickly. I inherently believe people assume the best of others, not the other way around.

And finally, religion. The enemy…and I mean proverbial horrid witch with a B played by Amanda Bynes was a Jesus freak. A complete nutzoid in my book. I understand that the Harlot in the story had to have a nemesis…but from what I can recall, it was Jesus who befriended and forgave the Harlots. Here, those who profess his love drag Olive through proverbial Hell. Yes, I know there are those fanatics about (here’s looking at you clinic bombers) but to lump anyone whose sense of spirituality leans towards Christianity as conniving, vindictive, manipulative, damaging, shallow, vile and hypocritical is alienating those who would never espouse that. Good thing Emma Stone is almost good enough to make you forget all that.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother

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