Saturday, June 4, 2011

Easy A

This movie has some funny moments, has some true, if facile, lessons about gossip and reputation, and has some good performances, but I didn't like it.

Olive is a high school girl who does not have good luck with boys (ever notice that in movies, the so-called homely, unpopular girls are gorgeous?  Emma Stone is.).  When her friend Rhi hounds her about her weekend, during which Olive stayed home by herself instead of camping with Rhi's family, Olive makes up a story about losing her virginity to a nameless college student.  Their conversation is overheard by Marianne, the school religious busybody.  The gossip starts flying, and Olive instantly becomes known as the school slut.  She plays it up by wearing racy clothes and putting a red A on her shirt (They're studying The Scarlet Letter in class.).
Not exactly a homely girl. . . .
Some highlights:

Olive's teacher's comment on social networking:
I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought... but I can assure you, they're not all diamonds. 'Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.' Who gives a rat's a--?
Amen, brother!  That's for sure!

It's not a plot element, unless to show that Olive's family is a bit out of the mainstream, but Olive has an adopted African-American brother.  Great to see transracial adoption as so normal that it hardly draws a comment!  Here's a funny conversation with their goofy parents:
Chip: I'm never gonna go through puberty. 
Mom: Course you will, baby, but we're a family of late bloomers.  I didn't until I was 14.  Nor did Olive.
Chip: Why does that matter?  I'm adopted.
Dad: (clearly jesting) What?  Oh my God!  Who told you?  Guys, we were going to do this at the right time!
Later, their dad (played by the hilarious Stanley Tucci) jokingly asks him, "Where are you from originally?"
His name's Chip.  Sounds like Zip.
Some lowlights:

I can see that a girl can get a bad reputation, but the whole school acts like none of them have ever had sex.  That seems sort of weird.  It was not big news at my high school if someone was having sex, and that was in the pre-Clinton era.  So, even though it worked to reveal the hypocrisy of many of the students, it lent an air of unreality to the story.

The lowest low light was the treatment of Christians in the movie.  Marianne is the leader of a small Christian group that sits around in a circle singing really bad versions of spirituals.  Christians are portrayed as judgmental, mean-spirited, and/or hypocritical.  OK, I admit, I've known plenty of Christians like that, and I can't say I have been exempt from those three descriptors every moment of my life.  But there's no balance here.  Would it have been too hard to include a Christian who's actual a decent person?

In Easy A, the bad points certainly outweigh the good.  Don't waste your time.

Bottom line, 1 star.

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