Tuesday, December 28, 2010

642 - Easy A review

“Easy A” is one of those high school pictures that appears written by someone who never went. There’s hardly a sincere second of its depiction of the high school experience, from the casting (nobody looks under 21, most look older than me) to the social details (no public school would expel model students after two curse words). Even the film’s political charge, a screed about gay rights and acceptance of sexual behavior, rings utterly false, as no one could be compelled to believe that a California public school would have a student body so aggressively uptight and scornful of such activities. Emma Stone’s Olive takes great delight in being thought of as the school tramp after telling a white lie about laying a college man, but these days very few teenagers think of that sort of thing as particularly promiscuous, whether or not they actually approve.

Essentially, this film’s philosophy is that the proper response to bigotry is more bigotry, as “Easy A” ranks just a shade under “Religulous” for its virulent hatred of all things Christian. You’ll find Nazis portrayed more sympathetically than the leader of the school prayer group (Amanda Bynes, who is either incapable of or unwilling to humanize her character, neither of which would surprise me). That this earned high marks from a large number of critics speaks poorly for their ability to keep their own contempt of the religious right in check long enough to properly score a movie. Things briefly look up when “Easy A” addresses the potential dangers of allowing oneself to be publicly perceived as a nymphomaniac, but this is quickly discarded for more Christian bashing and a love story uncomfortably wedged in during the final quarter to satisfy the mandatory genre pic checklist.

And poor Emma Stone, a rising star with a nearly infinite reservoir of effervescent charm, is stuck with this lame script. The amazing thing is that she alone (with assistance from Thomas Haden Church) almost makes this work. But, for the all of the film’s many cultural gaffes, who would ever believe that this lovely woman has a hard time getting boys to ask her out, or pay attention?

2 out of 5

1 comment:

Christian Toto said...

GREAT review! Sharp, snarky, inciteful and dead-on accurate. A few folks praised this film to the rafters, but it's as phony as a four-dollar bill.