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Union Films Review: Easy A

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When you see the words “teen movie” as a description for a film, it can be off-putting. However, once in a while, this genre surprises and gives the audience more than just throwaway romance and stereotypical American high school characters. Before I begin, I must say that ‘Easy A’ does contain these elements and they are arguably its one downfall (it is as predictable and formula-following as any other teen movie) but you manage to let it slide because of the impeccably witty script and perfect casting.

‘Easy A’ tells the typical story of a lie that snowballs out of control. Olive Penderghast, our main character, helps out a friend by pretending to take his virginity in order to conceal his homosexuality. In order to keep her secret, however, Olive begins to take on new fake conquests in return for money. After she sees that her promiscuous reputation may not be as rewarding as she once thought, she seeks to rectify the situation. Hilarity ensues.

Golden Globe nominated for the performance, Emma Stone as Olive is brilliant. Hilarious, yet criminally underused, inputs from school Principal Malcolm McDowell, adoptive father Stanley Tucci and worst-guidance-counsellor-ever Lisa Kudrow ensure that adults can enjoy the film. An exaggerated yet comical turn from Amanda Bynes’ evangelical Christian slightly ruins the stellar cast but it is pretty clear that the film is a star vehicle for Stone. 

The direction and writing of the film is where much of its charm lies. First time writer Bert V Royal provides some witty dialogue; and relatively unknown director Will Gluck injects some vivacity and charm into an already faultless script and cast. A romance with Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley seems shoe-horned in so that the film can find a happy conclusion but, at its core, ‘Easy A’ remains a fresh and captivating story, brilliantly performed. There hasn’t been a teen movie this strong since ‘Mean Girls’ in 2004 (let’s just hope that Emma Stone doesn’t become the next Lindsay Lohan).

 

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