High School Gossip At It's Finest
You remember how life was like back in high school? Where everything was just one huge popularity contest, and rumors spread like wild fire whether they were true or not. Those were the days right? The days when the biggest problems you ever faced was peer pressure and social status. Yep, those definitely were the days, and just imagine how fast rumors spread if you lived in a small town where everybody knows each other. If you can imagine that scenario, then you should understand the plight of Olive (Emma Stone). Due to one little innocent lie to get out of spending a weekend with her best friend, Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka), turns her life completely upside down as one lie leads to another.
Naturally, Olive is ashamed of her actions, but things get even more interesting, as she agrees to pretend to have sex with her homosexual friend because he's constantly getting bullied, due to his sexuality. Therefore, Olive reluctantly agrees to go along with the act, by faking a sexual experience at a party, where the entire school would be. This way, her friend would be finally accepted socially, and Olive would go from being an ignored wallflower to the status of popularity. However, what she didn't bargain for was that her gay friend would tell all the other outcasts and weirdos at her school, that couldn't get a date to save their freaking lives, about what she did. Hence, out of pity for each of these sad would be losers, she agrees to pretend to have done various sexual acts with them in exchange for gift cards to various stores like Gap and etc. Harmless right? After all, she's only pretending to do all these things, so what's the harm?
Well, it seems it doesn't take long before her reputation to get proverbially screwed, as people outside of these social outcasts start to actually believe in these rumors. Where she goes from a innocent girl pretending to be a slut, to actually being labeled one publicly, as she soon finds herself almost getting raped by a guy that mistakenly believes she has sex for gift cards. When in reality, she pretends to have sex with guys for gift cards, as this shows how the rumors start to manifest a life of their own.
Heck, in bizarre turn of events, her favorite teacher's fiance, Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow), has an illicit affair with a senior student in secrecy. Don't worry, the kid is twenty two years old. As his own girlfriend, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), puts it, "He's merely repeating his senior year by choice. After all, if God wanted him to pass, he'd give him all the correct answers." Hence, Mrs. Griffith coerces Olive to lie again and say she gave him the STD, instead of Mrs. Griffith. Now, with her innocent reputation destroyed and hardly anyone willing to defend her honor, she pulls one last ditch effort to get her story out there by promising the entire school a live web feed of an online raunchy sex show on Facebook but in reality, it's a tell all confession to get her real story and truth out there about what really happened. That's pretty much how the movie starts, as everything that transpires has already happened, but your hearing about it from Olive's point of view as she tells her story. Does it work to save her reputation? I can't say, as that would be telling.
However, I do find this film rather interesting, as it pays homage to other great teen films in the past like "Sixteen Candles", "Breakfast Club" and "Can't Buy Me Love", when she mentions how the main protagonists in those movies always end up learning some life lesson and who they really are through adversity. Something many of us can identify with, as all of us had our own struggles growing up and figuring out who we really are. The reality is nobody is ever really sure of what's important when your that young. Other than that, "Easy A" may pay homage by mentioning those other great teen movies, but I wouldn't dare put this film up there with them. No, if anything, this film seems like it tends to rip off various other teen flicks that have been around in the past, where the main protagonist lies about who he/she is to gain a brief moment of popularity. Only to realize around the end, what's truly important in life. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent story for what it is, but I would hardly call it great.
Although I will say it was rather creepy seeing Marianne's father (who's portrayed as a preacher by the way) and Mr. Griffith watching this online feed, as it makes me wonder why exactly they were watching an online video that was promoted originally to be a sex show with a high school minor. Oh well, I'm sure the average movie goer might find that comical or simply won't care, but it's creepy thinking about.
As for Emma Stone, I have a bit of a confession to make of my own. Since first seeing her in the comedy, "The Rocker", I fell in love with her almost immediately as an actress. Sure, she's unable to diversify her role, as the character she plays in "Easy A" comes off exactly the same as the one she played in "The Rocker." Which is startling, as the characters are supposed to be different. One being a punk goth girl in "The Rocker", while the other is supposed to be a innocent average girl next door type in this one. However, her dry sarcastic wit and charm does come off rather well in this movie though. Sure, she may never win any Academy Awards, due to her limited acting range. But hey, Dave Baruchel still gets parts, and he still has yet to prove he can play anything else than the unlikely shy neurotic social nerd that inevitably becomes a hero. Therefore, I don't see any reason why we can't continue to see great things from Emma Stone.
Sadly, as I said before, this film is hardly original, but the dialogue to this movie is very entertaining. Along with a colorful cast of characters, that will keep you intrigued throughout the movie.
Overall, I would have to give "Easy A" a two and a half out of four. It's not a great teen movie by any means, but it's definitely a decent comedy that's funny and light hearted enough for any sensible family to watch. Sure, there's a few jokes at the stereotypes of religion and a few sexual innuendos here and there, but it's nothing more than what you would see on an episode of "Smallville" or "90210."