Easy A Review
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There’s nothing like a little high school gossip to make or break a reputation—or your entire high school career. Just one little rumor—even if it’s not true—can turn the average high school kid into either a hero or a total outcast. But in the clever teen comedy Easy A, a high school nobody figures out how to use the rumor mill to her advantage.

For Olive (Emma Stone), it all began with an excuse. In order to get out of camping with her best friend, Rhiannon (Aly Michalka), and her crazy hippie parents, Olive claims to have a date with a college guy named George. Then, on Monday morning, she maintains the charade by relating the sordid details of a wild weekend with a totally made-up guy. But class prude Marianne (Amanda Bynes) overhears the story—and, within minutes, word spreads around school that Olive is a no-good tramp.

As it turns out, though, being a pretend tramp isn’t all that bad. Olive instantly goes from a nobody to the talk of the school. And when her frustrated gay friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd), asks her to help him pretend to be straight, she realizes that she can use her notoriety for good—to help the gay, the fat, and the completely undatable boost their reputations.

At first glance, Easy A may look like just another fluffy teen comedy—just like poor average Olive seems like just another high school nobody. But the film’s razor-sharp wit and hilarious cast make it stand out in the crowd.

The writing is surprisingly smart, loaded with clever set-ups, wry one-liners, silly rhymes, delightfully groan-worthy puns, and plenty of unexpected zingers. The story’s connection to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, however, is a bit shaky. At times, it’s overplayed—especially where Amanda Bynes’s Marianne is concerned. At times, it feels forced—with Olive choosing to wear her own scarlet A wherever she goes (even when she’s asked out on an actual date). And, at times, it seems completely irrelevant (after all, little Pearl was pretty solid proof that Hester Prynne wasn’t just pretending to be guilty of adultery). But it offers an intriguing twist on the story—and lit geeks (like me) will still appreciate the nerdy classic literature references.

The cast, meanwhile, is sinfully good. Stone is the perfect sharp and sarcastic alternative to the typical perky teen star—with a bone-dry delivery that makes her so much more than just another teenage nobody. And she’s backed by a brilliant supporting cast—from Thomas Hayden Church as the world’s coolest English teacher to Malcolm McDowell in his small role as the hard-nosed principal to Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as the quick-witted, easy-going parents that everyone wishes they had (but no one really did).

In fact, thanks to performances like these, you don’t have to be a high school nobody to enjoy Easy A. It’s a smart and funny romcom that easily makes the grade.

DVD Review:
Every year, a few worthwhile little movies end up getting lost in the box office shuffle—movies like Easy A, a smart comedy with a sinfully good cast. So if you missed this one in theaters, be sure to pick up a copy for movie night at home.

Unfortunately, though, the DVD’s special features are pretty light. Aside from an easy-going commentary with Emma Stone and director Will Gluck (which will have you searching the movie for oranges and mic belts), the special features menu includes just two extras: an entertaining gag reel and a short clip from Stone’s audition video.

If you’re looking for features, then, you’ll just have to opt for the Blu-ray release. But whether you pick it up on Blu-ray or DVD, you’re sure to get a laugh out of this wicked little teen comedy.

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