Easy A is one of those light-romantic comedies that actually works. It oozes wittiness and features a star making performance by Emma Stone.
Easy A is partially based off of The Scarlet Letter and follows a series of events that Olive (Emma Stone) finds herself in after she lies about losing her virginity to a college boy. Along the way she keeps running into Todd (Penn Badgley) who she is secretly in love with. She must also now keep Todd from finding out what she has gotten involved in.
The film is directed by Will Gluck (his big directing breakthrough) and written by Bert V. Royal (his first screenwriting gig). You could not at any point in this film tell that the creative team behind it was filled with a bunch of novices. Royal’s script is one of the better ones from this year. Royal, very effectively, takes a classic piece of work (The Scarlet Letter) and makes it his own. He then fills it with a bunch of one-liners (which in most cases come across as lazy but not here). Will Gluck doesn’t have as impressive of a breakthrough as Royal, but he does very solid work (and the material doesn’t require more than that from him). The one thing I really liked about his work was the way he displayed how information travels throughout the campus the film is set in. It is a very interesting gimmick.
The second standout of the film (along with the script) is the cast. Emma Stone is already being cited as having one of the breakthrough performances of the year for her portrayal of Olive and she is definitely deserving. She is very believable in her role (which many actors portraying high school characters struggle to be). She easily handles all of the one liners, and, most importantly, she makes you feel for her character. The supporting cast is just as good. Amanda Bynes is surprisingly good as Olive’s nemesis. She is over the top but it’s just as the character should be. Patricia Clarkson is great in her small role as Olive’s mother. She perfectly fits into the crazy mother archetype. Many of these characters actually are archetypes but the actors who play them are able to make the characters rise above the material. No one does that better in this film than Stanley Tucci. He really is a chameleon-like actor and can play almost any role. So it is really funny watching him play the crazy father who may be gay.
A strong cast led by Emma Stone and some great breakthroughs by the director and writer make Easy A a notch above your normal romantic comedy.
As part of Golden Globes week, the nominations for this film are:
-Best Lead Actress, Comedy or Musical-Emma Stone