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Easy A

A teen comedy directed by Gluck and starring Emma Stone.

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Packed with plenty of wit and charm; "Easy A" is an easy win for Will Gluck and Emma Stone.

  • Jan 17, 2011
Rating:
+3
*** out of ****

"Easy A" is one of the best teen comedies in years. It is less crude and more thoughtful than the premise suggests, and I found myself respecting it throughout. What makes it work is the fact that it has a good sense of humor, a pretty good cast, and charming sense of supreme, human decency. The film has the kind of charm that I wish every comedy had, and Emma Stone as the film's protagonist, is absolutely incredible as far as charming leads go. Sure, the film is pretty clichéd as far as the plot goes. Luckily I can get around that, mostly due to the fact that "Easy A" is just so darned appealing. It's a film that just about anyone could come to enjoy, as long as you go in knowing that it's going to be at least somewhat different from the other twenty-something teen comedies that bombard cinemas each year. It's a mystery how "Easy A", the work of a director who made a god-awful film with "Fired Up", could make something so darned good. I think it's because director Will Gluck actually hired good screen-writers and looked high and low for true inspiration before he decided to get started on this flick. This time around, he's also able to get a good cast in an equally as good movie. This is the kind of movie that John Hughes would have happily directed, that is if (1.) he wasn't dead and (2.) if he wasn't so darned indulgent. "Easy A" essentially has all the charm and entertainment of a classic Hughes-directed teen dramedy; aside from the fact that it's pieced together by a different man. Still, this means that maybe Will Gluck has an actual future to look forward to; a possibility which I doubted upon seeing "Fired Up" and revived upon seeing "Easy A". And while "Easy A" might not be exactly as its title suggests when you break it down to sheer quality, it's still an easy recommendation. I say give it a chance. You never know what you might find. Solace, perhaps? Maybe. Just maybe.

An unpopular High School girl named Olive decided to up her popularity through a lie. This lie regards her sex life, which is indeed non-existent but she decides to render it otherwise. Through the first strain of lies, she meets some new faces and decides to help one of them, a gay student by the name of Brandon, up his own popularity a notch. Olive gets used to all the verbal abuse at school and begins to cope with it in bizarre ways. She starts taking money from other students in exchange for a false sex story, although this kind of stuff is bound to catch up to her one day. She looses friends, of course, and then gains some. She's a good kid; just one who's made a living hell out of her life recently. I think what makes this genuinely familiar sort of story entertaining is the fact that there's actually a pretty good screen-play in-tact throughout the film. The dialogue is funny; and the subject matter is never treated in a particularly crude way. No, "Easy A" is truly funny and truly charming. An easy "A" in most people's book, but the clichés somewhat prevented me from truly loving it. Hear me out; "Easy A" is one of the more charming films of 2010, and it's sure to get more recognition in time, it's just that it's not as "great" as some people may think. I did indeed enjoy it; several parts were even treated with utter perfection. And the subject matter didn't hurt the film either, so for whatever flaws it has, "Easy A" has twice the amount of good attributes. Olive's character is instantly likable; in fact, she's the only character who we really get to know too well. Thus, she's really the only character worth caring about. While the minor characters are there to add conflicts and sub-plots, they never do much more than that. Nevertheless, it's all about Olive's story. And that's why the movie works once it's over, and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. For that, it's a worthwhile experience.

Emma Stone is a real charmer in this film. While she's been in several awful-to-mediocre films recently, this is a role that I think will put her on the map as a common customer when it comes to teen comedy or other various roles. In "Easy A", she demonstrates all of her talent. I liked her character and Stone's performance was absolutely awesome. The supporting cast feels almost like somewhat of an ensemble cast at the least, and I'll tell you why. Stone's co-stars include the talents of Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Dan Byrd, and (get this) Malcolm McDowell. Is that not awesome? Please tell me it isn't; I'll color you crazy. The fact that the director was able to round up so much talent and put it into one big, hell of a comedy is admirable, and most of the cast works. Olive's parents (played by Tucci and Patricia Clarkson respectively) are funny and charming whenever they show up. I think these moments of family time between Olive and her parents are only icing on the cake, but they do help to make "Easy A" the winner that it is. Nearly everyone was entertaining to watch; even if some of them were former child stars on Television. It's good to see that they're growing up without shedding their snobby, obnoxious skin.

Surprisingly, "Easy A" is a pretty funny movie. The dialogue is often times hilarious, and while it's never a consistently funny film, it never stops being amusing. I liked the style of it, to start things off. Will Gluck has something good going for him here, and I think it's going to help him on his way to (potential) further success. "Easy A" is the entertaining film that it is because it's worth respecting due to the large amounts of charm. It's an average film in terms of production values and such, but it's a hoot in a year devoid of huge laughs. No, I didn't love it. It's not going on my "Best of 2010" list, although it's in there with the other few solid films to release around its time. It's a film for its time and place; it fits right in there when nothing else does. Strangely enough, I get the feeling that it's a Hollywood film made with not an overwhelming sense of passion, but yet it still wasn't made purely for profit. If it had been a potboiler than I would have hated it. Sure, it made money because of the likable leads and the success of the script. It's not perfect, but it's gotten just about all the recognition that it deserves. All I can say for Mr. Gluck is that I want him to hit me with his best shot; I'm ready for it. I think that next time, he can repeat his success. Or he can just make another complete stinker like "Fired Up". Who really knows; he could succeed or he could fail. It's a bit too early to tell I guess. Only time will confirm my suspicions.

"Easy A" is more Hughes than anything. It gets inspiration from bigger, older, and often times better teen comedies. However, "Easy A" will soon go on to be recognized as a modern classic in the teen comedy department. It's not raunchy, it's not incredibly crude, and it's not boring (which is a good thing). Teen comedies are so generic these days, and while "Easy A" may not truly shed its clichéd skin, it's not as flat-out familiar as most comedies. Long story short; it treads dangerous waters but emerges victorious when it comes to making a good teen comedy. It does what many more have failed to do; and I think that "Fired Up" was Will Gluck's way of saying "I'm going to do something better soon". I'm proud of his for his success. Why shouldn't I be? After all; "Easy A" is an easy win in my book. And that's what I like about it. By all means, if you're going to watch a teen comedy, watch this one. It's probably the only one that's really worth your time. As it is, that's about all I can say about it. But isn't that enough as far as earned satisfaction goes? I'd think so.

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January 17, 2011
This was indeed a good flick, I was actually surprised that I liked it as much as I did.
January 18, 2011
Yeah, I usually don't like films like these. But this one was not like the others; in so many ways.
 
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More Easy A reviews
review by . April 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Easy A is a 90's movie. More specifically, it's a 90's teen flick in every possible respect. If it had been released in its proper time frame, it would have tacked itself onto a 1999 release, getting in there with the great wave of corporate teen idols who kept sneaking into the last minute 90's pop culture scene. It would have starred one of the momentary flash-pan movie stars who were already known from either TV or horror movies - possibly Neve Campbell or Sarah Michelle Gellar. It features many …
review by . December 24, 2010
Like I said in my review of Zombieland, Emma Stone is one of the big rising stars on screen today, and Easy A was made as her leading star turn. It definitely worked, because she did great and therefore, the movie was great. She was backed by a great story and a great supporting cast (especially Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her parents). Movies like this, Juno, and Mean Girls have been described as the John Hughes movies of our generation, and for good reason, because they reach the same …
review by . November 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In the same vain of Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You comes the retelling of the classic tale The Scarlet Letter.       Emma Stone stars as Olive, the high school girl who feels unrecognizable in the high school world. One lie begets another and soon she is the center of high school gossip. The morally upright condemn the girl to hell so as an act of rebellion she marks herself with the letter A. Seriously they don't even try and hide the inspiration; I would hope …
review by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
BETTER THAN I THOUGHT
      EASY A      This film turned out to be much better than I had expected to be honest, I knew it would be good but it was better than I thought. Still to be honest I was not really looking to see this that bad, until my girl got it and had me watch it with her. Of course it was along the lines of these new John Hughes style flicks but it was good. I don't think it turned out as classic as Hughes's films but it was a nice homage to the man's …
review by . March 14, 2011
   Back in the day I used to love watching teen comedy films.  I loved the cheesey 90s teen comedies with Freddy Prince, Julia Styles and Rachel Lee Cook with their random mid-story group dance routines that had everyone and their mothers dancing.  But my go-to films are still the classic John Hughes brat pack films.  They make you laugh, they make you cry and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.    Then the 21st century came and we lost the soul of the teen comedy …
review by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's easy to like a character, but it isn't often you come across one that you would want to actually be friends with, or maybe even wish you could be like. For me, such a character is Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), a high-school student from Ojai, California. True, she may only be a fictional character, but she's also the embodiment of personality - smart, witty, and affable, yet not so perfect or above it all that she fails to be human. Despite these magnetic qualities, she isn't …
review by . September 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
See title for headline
EASY A   Written by Bert V. Royal   Directed by Will Gluck   Starring Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes and Thomas Haden Church      Olive: I used to be invisible.  If Google Earth were a guy, he couldn’t find me if I were a ten-storey building.      What Ojai, California, high school student, Olive Penderghast, has to go through in director, Will Gluck’s EASY A to get her “A” cannot be described …
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      This is a story about the clicheic "I need to be awesome to be liked" dogma which has spread in almost any teenager since ever. Why we need that to be liked? Why we need to do outrageous or non-conventional things in order for the average Joe to like us? Is it a right thing or a bad thing? Well, I guess the answer for that is in anyone's personal beliefs and since we're not debaters here we're not gonna comment on the subject.      …
Quick Tip by . January 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
While Emma Stone was delightfully quirky and adorable, I just didn't think that this film had the charm or the intelligence that it was trying so hard to achieve. There have been quite a few great teen comedies in the past 5 years and some of them will go down in film history as classics alongside John Hughes' films of the '80s. This film wants to be of the same quality as those films... so badly that that the story is littered with references to those films, but what hurts it is that …
Quick Tip by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
I would say it is worth a rental at least especially if you are into this type of film. A fun cast mixed with a great script made for a good film, well worth the time.
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Easy A
is an ensemble 2010 romantic comedy film written by Bert V. Royal and directed by Will Gluck. Partially inspired by the novel The Scarlet Letter, the film was shot at Screen Gems studios and in Ojai, California. Screen Gems distributed with a release on September 17, 2010. 

Easy Ais a frothy, fizzy, andfunnyromantic comedy for teens--and adults will love it too. Not sinceCluelesshas a high-school heroine been able to delight both audiences, andEasy A's Olive (the sparkling Emma Stone) is a stellar young star. ButEasy Abenefits from a great script by writer Bert V. Royal and assured direction by TV veteran Will Gluck. Olive is a smart girl happy to stay in the shadows of high school, until her good friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd), who's gay, begs her to pretend to have sex with him so the rest of the school will stop picking on him. She obliges, but soon she picks up not one but two reputations--as the girl who sleeps around, and, on the down-low, as the girl who'llpretendto sleep with a guy so he won't be branded a virgin. SoonEasy A's complications pile up higher than the entrance of Olive's high school, and her two story lines, neither of which reflects the real Olive, take on lives of their own. There are backlashes and blacklists and repercussions galore. "I always thoughtpretendingto lose my virginity would feel a little more special," muses Olive. "Judy Blume should have prepared me for that." Stone is accompanied by ...
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Details

Director: Will Gluck
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: September 17, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Bert V. Royal
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Olive Bridge Entertainment, Sony Pictures
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