For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies, here’s a review of Easy A (2010) by Steven of Past Present Future TV and Film
Thanks again to Kim of Tranquil Dreams for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Reut of Sweet Archive. We will be reviewing our favorite dark comedies. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice Reut!
Let’s see what Steven thought of this movie:
On Second Thought: “easy A”
So few comedies do it for me. Most are truly stupid. Sure I may laugh, but it’s because that reaction is unavoidable. You go back and think on it, it wasn’t a funny joke or moment in any capacity, it was just something stupid and childish seen countless times in similarly bad movies. I’ve pretty much given up all hope.
The Screen Gems film “Easy A”, is still just as funny as the 20 other times (or more) that I’ve seen it.
This comedy film stars Emma Stone (upcoming “Irrational Man”, “Aloha”), Penn Badgley (“The Slap (US mini-series)”, “Cymbeline”), Amanda Bynes (“Living Proof”, “Sydney White”), Dan Byrd (“Scandal”, “Cougar Town”), Thomas Hayden Church (“Max”, “Heaven Is for Real”), Patricia Clarkson (upcoming “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”, “Broad City”), Cam Gigandet (“Reckless”, “Nanny Cam”), Lisa Kudrow (upcoming “El Americano: The Movie”, “Neighbors”), Malcolm McDowell (“The Black Hole”, “Scooby Doo! Moon Monster Madness”), Aly Michalka (“iZombie”, “Anger Management”), Stanley Tucci (“Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant”, “Fortitude”), Fred Armisen (“Deadbeat”, “Portlandia”), Juliette Goglia (“Resident Advisors”, “Scandal”), Jake Sandvig (“Living the Dream”, “Rush”).
The film was directed by Will Gluck (“Annie (2014)”, “The Michael J. Fox Show”) and written by Bert V. Royal (upcoming “Recovery Road”, “Gigantic”).
It originally debuted on Sept. 17, 2010. It would go on to be nominated for one Golden Globe Award, one Broadcast Film Critics Association, winning one, and six Online Film & Television Association Awards, winning three.
I’m taking a leap here, I think. This month’s genre is tough only as I haven’t a lot of these specific types of films. I had to look into it a bit to see if this film even could possibly (in the slightest) qualify. I’m saying it does. It involves “teens”, it’s set in high school, and the “teen” romance does exist if only as a medium sized subplot, or secondary plot? Whatever it should be called, it exists, thus qualifying it in my minds eye. There’s a reason it was the first film (only really), that jumped into my head when I read about it from MovieRob. So, if there are no objections (ha! too bad, too late), on with the show!
For this film to pretty much work at all, and for me to like it time after time, the chemistry between every character (and thus actor), has to be in tip top shape. Now, you can say that about any film, but I remember going into this film not knowing squat about it. I originally thought it was some annoying raunchy teen comedy. You know the type. It was (is) so much more than that. Granted, I could also just be overhyping it. The reason why I believe that this chemistry is spot on, is that this time around, I still enjoyed every aspect of this film. I’ve seen it enough times that I shouldn’t, but the last time I saw it was over a year ago.
Every character interaction is basically believable. Long and the short kind of thing. There’s never a moment where I had to force myself or pretend or anything else like that. I just sat back and took in what I saw. Stone herself makes every bit of dialogue come out so effortlessly, as if she’d always spoken this way. The relationships, especially at the beginning, were so clearly defined. When I say everyone I mean everyone, even Bynes’ character, which isn’t that hard to establish. When watching scenes with Stone, Clarkson, and Tucci, I can’t help but think I want to be adopted by them! They’re so smart, clever, and loving, and each day must be full of jokes and laughter.
Skipping down to the qualifier, Stone and Badgley, like everyone else, are on point. In this case it’s not just to give Stone another person to interact with, or someone to share in the witty banter, but to give her character a love interest and push the ‘80s rom-com theme forward too. You didn’t think Stone just referenced it for a quick tally mark in the pop culture column did you? Here it sneaks in a bit later than usual and unravels just as strangely. Fortunately because of this, Stone realizes that the cost of her telling a joke has gotten really high. I’ll grant you it’s not like she didn’t know this before hand, as everyone seemed to dislike her, even if they didn’t actually know who she was, but somehow through someone that actually cared about her, it shown a lot brighter. From the love interest perspective, it was nice to see it come slowly into being, and be the female lead pining for the guy throughout most of the film. (see picture) That picture conveys all you need to know about how they come off on screen.
Before I forget, I want to mention the most obvious element of this film, the comedy. It’s all in the dialogue and the way the actors deliver it. As I’ve said already, this film has yet to get old on me. I laughed at all the right moments and all the ones I’d laughed at before. Some stood out more than others, but they greatly informed us on who the characters were. It’s also what made Church even more interesting than just being a fun teacher. In general, in some way, I half expect that in reality Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote this, or Diablo Cody. It’s that funny and it’s that smart.
Some lines of dialogue that just tickled me:
“There’s a higher power that will judge you for your indecency.” “Tom Cruise?” (funnier when they say these lines.
“Yes, I believe so. If I was Gossip Girl in Sweet Valley with traveling Pants.”
“Plus, I really wanted my own awesome musical number. For no apparent reason.”
A lot of comedies strive to incorporate dramatic elements, but usually they just slow a film down and aren’t worth anything. This film, however, at least of the last few years, manages to blend the comedy and dramatic moments really well. It doesn’t just allow you to catch your breath and relax your cheeks from all the laughter, but humanize Stone’s character a bit more. Sure you already like her, but this just seals it for you. At some points, you just want to give her a hug. This also helps to add a nice layer to her parents, who do know how to be serious when need be.
It’s a comedy. It’s a romance film. It’s a drama. It’s all of these things in a neat little package that has yet to get old. Can’t say that happens very often. It’s definitely, as of right now, my favorite Stone film. I guess time will tell if this film ever gets old and unwatchable. Hopefully there are others that find the same things in this film as amazing as I do.
Oh! and it was actually filmed in Ojai, CA!! I can’t get enough of the place, even though I’ve never been there. A story for another time.
The Lady Gaga (bleh) laced trailer you should absolutely check out!: