Seeing as many movies as Ma and I do, every now and again you come across a little gem of a movie... sometimes when you're expecting it, sometimes when you're not. It happened with Stranger Than Fiction, it happened with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...
And tonight it happened with Easy A!
I'm not going to lie, I'd heard very good things about this movie, but sometimes they don't live up to the hype, especially something that could easily be branded as a "teen sex comedy".
Except Easy A isn't that much of a teen movie, and nobody is actually having sex (which is the whole point).
What it is though is a smart, funny, clever, well written, beautifully acted piece of cinema that never has to stoop to using "cringe humour" that is so often a staple of the "teen comedy" genre.
And the lead actress, Emma Stone, is exceptional. She has great comic timing, a fantastic face (whether for looking sexy or looking goofy) and an amazing voice. She will definitely be somebody that we'll be seeing a lot more of with any luck. The only thing that's hard to buy is at the beginning of the movie when her character says that guys don't notice her. I frankly find that hard to believe. You'd notice her... with the reddish tint to her hair and that husky voice... trust me, boys would notice her.
But we have to suspend our disbelief of a lot more preposterous things in other movies, so I'm willing to let that slide.
The other thing that the movie skates a fine line on is a script that can occasionally be a little too smart and a little too self reverential for it's own good. There are a couple of lines where the characters refer to life not being like the movies, and given that this movie is, I think, trying for some John Hughes territory, making a reference to reasons why your life isn't like a John Hughes movie is a little dangerous. But still funny and well done.
Essentially, this movie exists in a world where other movies exist... and people make references to them, just the way normal people do. It just tweaked the fourth wall for me a couple of times.
Another instance of the movie being a little too clever I didn't realise until looking at the credits... the main character is called Olive... her parents are Dill and Rosemary... although they should have found a better name for her little brother than "Chip"... I'm willing to let that slide though, since I don't think her parents are every referred to by name in the whole movie.
Speaking of the parents... Often-times in so called "teen" movies, the adult actors are either somewhat substandard or not really given anything interesting to do... however Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are fantastic as the aforementioned parents. They're the kind of parents that you instantly wish that you had...
Meanwhile Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow both happily switch between their own particular brand of crazy likeability and some a fairly grounded reality.
And then you have the general hotness of Penn Badgley and Cam Gigandet, which is never bad...
Essentially, both first time movie writer Bert Royal and director Will Gluck should be commended on a great piece of work!
yani's rating: 4 scarlet letters out of 5