Originality and wittiness is scarce in Hollywood. The countless dribble we receive is proof of that. That’s why it is so refreshing to watch a picture that stands out. And Will Glick’s Easy A, though periodically sluggish and uneven, is just that. Glick borrows from every 80’s John Hughes/Cameron Crowe film known to man, and incorporates it into his own motion picture. Somehow, someway quoting and reassembling scenes from Ferris Buellers Day off and Say Anything, just clicks.
Emma Stone is cast as Olive, a hardly noticed, clean-cut high school student whose wit and domestic charm can win you over instantaneously. Though, despite the way she presents that adult-like mentality, she is, in all, a teenager. And what do most teenagers want? Popularity. Sadly, after a little white lie gets out, from her seemingly best friend (Alyson Michalka) she is forced to deal with the repercussions of proclaiming that she had lost her virginity (gasp!).
Those repercussions do not come from her parents (who, played by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci care more about what their daughter has to say, rather than the public eye) but by Olive’s classmates. In particular, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), who’s some sort of a Jesus activist (over the top and ridiculous). With criticism coming every which way (albeit home) Olive beings to embrace her persona and pretends, in the benefit of her counter part, to have sexual activity with them. Quite a setup, eh?
We all know where this is going, Olive will go through some hardships, pull herself together, and ultimately meet a guy that will change her, forever. Luckily, writer Bert V. Royal gives the script enough twists and turns to keep us on our toes and make us wanting more, even if you surmise the inevitable outcome. But in all honesty, it’s Emma Stone who turns in a star-making performance as this confused teenager who understands morality, but is having hard time figuring herself out. I predict great things for Stone as her career, will surely blossom into something special. For the other performers, and boy are there plenty (Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Penn Badgley, Clarkson, etc) well, they all give very nice supporting performance for Stone to play off. But trust me, they come second hand when compared to her.
As for the film, well, Easy A has plenty of mishaps. Will Gluck, the director (who is set to direct this years Friends With Benefits) has a considerably hard time finding balance between his actors. He puts Olive into situations that we know this intelligent teen would never dare to go into. Also the film would’ve benefited from a tighter plot. The picture leaves one-too-many loose ends (including a sex scandal with a teacher and a student that’s neither fulfilled or drawn out properly). However, it’s clear that Gluck has a true passion for film. The constant references back to all the Cameron Crowe and John Hughes pictures are great. Like himself, Gluck makes every character in Easy A well versed in the film world. Surprisingly, that’s truly refreshing. And perhaps that’s how I was able to enjoy the film. Easy A contained an ample amount of flaws, but the overall product, the uniqueness, and the sense of refreshment you receive after completing the picture, is unlike most films you watch these days.
So, I recommend looking over the uneven narrative and the clichéd plot, and just enjoy Will Gluck’s picture for what it is: an entertaining, witty, and smart piece of romantic-comedy filmmaking. Easy A is that rare teenager centered picture with a brain and a heart, and from that comes a groundbreaking and star-making performance from Emma Stone. I see a bright, bright future ahead.