Teen comedies. I love them. So much. Almost as much as a detest rom-coms. But Teen Comedies (and the best of the Apatow posse) usually end up 5-starred on Netflix. Why? It's perfect entertainment. Sharp, witty satire, usually surprisingly good cinematography. Easy A was one of these movies. The top critics almost unanimously loved this movie, while the audience was more hesitant (96% versus 85% on rottentomatoes, last time I checked). Why this slight, but still statistically significant, difference? Easy A was a meta-film, constantly referring to every other teen comedy that inspired director Will Gluck. At one point Olive Pendergast (Emma Stone, definitely one of my favorite teen heroines.) even says, emphatically, "I wish my life were an 80s movie. But I am not John Hughes." Following this statement, and dispersed liberally throughout the film, are very non-discreet references to other 80s movies-- Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Pretty in Pink, and, especially, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (I won't add a spoiler describing the brave and incredible way in which Emma Stone gets her own Ferris Bueller moment!)
In fact, Easy A seems like an improvement or every other great teen dramedy. The characters (perhaps excepting Amanda Bynes's bible-freak cheeseball character) are complex, interesting people, in the same way that they are in Apatow films at their best. Except this time, it's a female who has the most interesting personality-- caustic, witty, and nonchalant, with a gruff voice and perfect comic timing. And very realistic-- I have friends like Emma Stone to this day, and I certainly had friends clever enough to be Emma Stone in high school. I'm glad to see teenagers portrayed as self-aware and adultlike, rather than broody, stupid, and schizoid.
What can I say? Maybe I have bad taste. Maybe I'll secretly always be an angsty 15-year old. Or maybe I just know a pretty great movie when I see it. Watch and see for yourself (especially if you're a John Hughes-o-phile). SO MUCH RECOMMENDED.
p.s. another reason to see this film: lit references. LOTS OF THEM. Get ready to remember reading The Scarlet Letter senior year of high school, and liking it. Prepare for nostalgia!
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