John Hughes has been missed, teen comedies have been on a heavy down slide recently. Well Easy A tries to bring it back in full swing. The film accomplishes most of its goals here and is pretty funny. The film balances itself out with a great supporting cast and the absolute charm of Emma Stone who is starting to seriously shine as an actress.
The film follows Stone’s character, a high-school senior who unwittingly becomes known as the school slut once a rumor spins wildly out of control. Instead of backing down she embraces it and uses the rumor and new reputation to her advantage, after a wave of young men eager to be seen as studs or at least not gay, pay her to tell people she had sex with them. This plot should not last an entire film but there are some twists to it along the way. It also helps the film has a lot of just talented and funny people in it. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson play Stone’s parents and they are so charming and funny that you end up wishing they were your parents. It’s refreshing to see parents in a movie who are actually you know cool and understanding. Instead of trying to punish or keep their daughter locked up they let her do what she wants by simply trusting her and knowing who she is. It is something I just admired about the film.
Another great thing about the movie is that Easy A is a big mix of things. First off the film constantly tries to remind you how great movies were in the 80’s. The film has a point things just seemed better when characters could break out into song randomly. Besides playing up to films like Sixteen Candles it also is trying to retell The Scarlett Letter the same way the film Clueless did the same with Emma. Somehow even though a lot of these ideas have been done before they come off as fresh and funny here. I believe it is Emma Stone who just has great comic timing. In scenes that for me shouldn’t have worked, well she made them work. Without her the movie probably would have lost a lot of steam along the way.
Another aspect of the film that I really loved was Amanda Bynes, I’m not kidding. Her character is a Jesus loving loon who tries to control the social construct of the Ojai high school. I never really believed Bynes retired even when she announced it. Here she actually did a very good job coming off as a serious crazy person and I hope her career gets back on track. I dug her in Hairspray.
So in conclusion do not let Easy A pass you by, this is not your average teen high school comedy. This movie has a lot of heart behind it, essentially it is a huge love letter to John Hughes which I loved. The film simply bypasses cliches and allows its characters to grow into something special. Not hilarious but a strong piece of work especially for a younger generation that might need a reminder about films like the Breakfast Club and the list of other classics.