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Easy A

Easy A

What he said:

He

Easy A is about a girl named Olive (Emma Stone). Olive is a good kid who (not unlike many others) simply wants to be liked a little more. So one day, she comes up with this scheme that involves lying about sleeping around with more than a few guys at her school. This plan suddenly launches her into a certain level of notoriety/infamy.

I had both seen and enjoyed Emma Stone in Superbad and Zombieland. They were supporting roles, but I thought she handled them well. This was, however, the first time I saw her in the title role. Based on the trailer, I thought she looked like she was ready for the spotlight.

Truth-be-told, I was actually pretty disappointed in it. There were certainly glimpses of her ability to carry a movie and I think she'll do that one day. But overall I found her to be trying a little too hard. It felt like she was doing Ellen Page from some of her earlier work. Being naturally sarcastic is a fantastic personality trait, but when you try too hard it kills the effect.

Though, I do have to say I think this was a problem with the writing/directing, as I found just about every character to be trying a little too much. The teacher (Thomas Haden Church) and the parents (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson) were (or at least trying to be) the hippest, coolest, most understanding (to the point of it being annoying) "adults" I've ever seen. This is all well and good if this is trying to be Fired Up! (Director Will Gluck's only other movie) That movie is a bit of a spoof. But this one was trying to be one of those 80's teen angst and didn't hide that at all. Having put itself out there as being similar to those iconic movies, I have no other choice but to compare it.

Verdict: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 27, 2010.

What she said:

She

I’m not exactly sure where to start with this movie.  I can’t say I was super excited to see it, although there was some interest.  I thought the cast sounded very promising—up and comer Emma Stone, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, and Lisa Kudrow.  It seemed like it could be very funny.  And I’ll admit there were certainly parts where they got a good laugh out of me.  But overall, the movie just seemed way overdone.

I wasn’t sure if I should take it as a satire or if it was trying to be serious.  I was informed that Easy A was directed by the same guy who did Fired Up!, and yet the movies didn’t strike me the same way at all.  Fired Up! was just straight up funny, with humor that was often inappropriate and goofy.  Easy A is always reaching for something, like it’s trying to prove that it has this degree of depth that should enlighten.  The problem is that a movie can’t be that enlightening when its characters are missing depth. 

Olive, our 17 year old protagonist is itching to be noticed at school.  Ignore the fact that if Emma Stone went to my high school, with her looks she’d totally be worshipped.  In this alternate reality, she’s a nobody until she tells a shameful lie, which snowballs into a horrible, yet notorious rumor.  Here’s a heads up, no one in this movie looks age appropriate.  The actors really do look like 20-somethings pretending to be 16 or 17.  It’s as if they go to this uni-age high school, where everyone is past their awkward stage and there are no goofy gangly freshman meandering around.  Worst of all is Micah, who looks like he’s about 30.  They explain this by saying that he’s a fourth-year senior, actually 21 years old.  Whatever, I don’t even buy that—the guy has a receding hairline. 

Everyone in this film seems to be overacting, even at times Emma Stone herself.  It’s a movie that tries to pay homage to ‘80s teen romances, but doesn’t even come close.  It’s merely a superficial shell of this type of film.  As you can see, I wasn’t impressed.

Kudos for a couple of good jokes.  Otherwise, this film was a disappointment.

Diagnosis: Thumbs down.