Easy A (2010)

Directed by Will Gluck
Written by Bert V. Royal

2010 seemed to be a down year for comedies in general. There was no The Hangover or anything that will probably be mentioned in five years time as being a great comedy. But then you have Easy A, which I would classify as a comedy and would classify as being quite good, yet it is good in other ways. It is not the funniest film I have seen, nor is it the best this year, but the combination of comedy, performance, and heart and soul of this film make it worth while.

The story is that of Olive (Emma Stone). Olive is a high school student who nobody knows, other than her best friend Rhiannon (Aly Michalka). But this does not become the invisible high school student story. No, this is much more original. Instead, when Olive makes up a date to avoid hanging out with Rhi’s family one weekend, Rhiannon jumps to conclusions that Olive lost her virginity, and instead of denying it, she plays along. The problem being super Christian gossip girl Marianne (Amanda Bynes) overhears and soon Olive’s reputation as a slut, for lack of a better word, becomes known throughout the school. Soon she has people paying her in gift cards to fake sexual encounters with them, to help their reputation. Soon the whole situation gets a little out of control.

The subject matter of this film is a bit more serious than the film seems to present, but as a comedy that is not surprising. In fact, the entire delivery of the film, all the way down to the fantastically funny yet fantastically unrealistic parents (Patricia Clarkson & Stanley Tucci), is just fueling the flame of the insanity that is high school. The ups and downs of the film come fast and in droves. First we think it’s funny what Olive is doing, then disheartening, then funny, then something terrible happens, then something funny. It plays out like I am sure high school did for many. And I think that is why Will Gluck’s film works so well: it is reflective of the times people spend in high school. It is usually all about popularity and people thinking you are cool. It is almost never about actually learning and making great friends or meeting the person of your dreams, even if high school sweethearts do exist.

This film is kind of hard to wrap my head around honestly. The high school stereotypes are played up here for amusement, but the immaturity of high schoolers comes across. There is so much going on, yet I know I liked it. It did not have me dying laughing and it did not having me contemplating my own existence or any other deep nonsense, but that is just what the film is, nonsense. And for that reason, I think Gluck and his associates succeed. The whole thing is helped greatly by a very good performance by Emma Stone as Oliver as well. But I think what I liked most about the film was Olive’s family. Every scene they had was great and I love Clarkson and Tucci here. It seems like a family I would like to know.

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