Sunday, September 19, 2010

Easy A

The Flick: Easy A

The Actors: Emma Stone, (still wonder about her being cast as Miz Skeeter in the film adaptation of The Help...but we shall see), Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Patricia Clarkson, Stanlet Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, etc.

The Dealio: Emma Stone's Olive Penderghast (no relation), is the ultimate in invisibility at Ojai High School: bright, quick, a good student and no troublemaker. That all comes to a screeching halt once Olive tells a white lie to help a fellow misfit. The entire thing sproings out of control at record speed when Olive's English class begins to study the Scarlet Letter. Olive begins to see parallels between the fate of Hester Prynne and her own victimisation at the hands (and messaging fingertips) of her gossipy fellow students. This is when Olive has a great (or, as it turns out, not-so-great) idea of capitalising on her notoriety by proudly flaunting the legendary Big, Red A.

The Grading Period: 4.39 pengies out of 5. BTW-the soundtrack is dominated by pretty decent covers of bits and pieces from those of '80's 'teen com' movies. A pleasant surprise, and I don't wish to carp, but they could have been rounded out with some original stuff.
Prendie talks a lot about movies that take place in 'The Land With No Adults', but this is not a complaint to be made about this movie: adults are represented, but most are so loopy and over the top, they read as almost more immature than the actual teens.
Stone's Olive is grounded, level headed and sweet...with an undertow of tart lurking just beneath the surface. Neat job. Haden Church nails it as that really memorable, inspired and inspiring teacher each of us had at least once in our educational past; the one who seems just that tiny bit too cool for, well, school.
It's clear Stanley Tucci is having a blast- but, then, he always seems to revel in the cards with which he has been presented. Gotta love that appetite and enthusiasm in an actor. Bynes does the weirdly contradictory goody-goody she has done before; and we all know it for the mask cloaking her selfish and superior inner wee-yoch that it truly is. I can easily see her as the very first accuser in The Crucible, the little self-righteous liar who ('eyes on me!') causes an entire society to begin to unravel, as it turns in on itself.
For a lightweight, late summer offering, I say: good job with extra effort taken in the crafting.

Lessons Learned: Well, believe it or don't, but some people actually read The Scarlet Letter- and more than once.
Also- it is great fun revisiting some of the more engaging John Hughes movies, (Sixteen Candles, Say Anything and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, among them), as minor characters in a current-day movie .
Lastly this: too much time is spent during the average school day, texting and recording the detritus of your average, very ordinary days. Get outside, get some fresh air, look around you at the rest of the world. Enjoy. These are the days you will look back on and think of as the high point of your life. Or the worst of times. Ever.

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