Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Easy A" Review

Having heard reasonably good things about the movie "Easy A" I decided to go see it with my father. I didn't know exactly what I expected in terms of the quality of the film, but I had a general idea of what it would be about from the trailer. It strikes me that a movie trailer is the same as the opening chapter of a novel in that it needs to hook you and hook you early. It looked more intriguing than "The Town" which, while definitely more action packed, had less potential to leave me thinking about it afterwards. And thus, off to the movies we went...

From beginning to end Emma Stone rocked this thing. Her portrayal was spot on, and needed to be considering that she was in the spotlight for the entire movie. Let it not be said that the actors in the secondary roles didn't play an important part, however. Her parents were hilarious, and Amanda Bynes's character was at times cringe-inducing but added an extra element of conflict (ie. judgment) as well as humour that the movie needed.

As an educator, "Easy A"  is a fantastic movie in which to begin a discussion about the dangers of social media and the tendency of teenagers to overact when put in the spotlight for attention. It seems that incredible-and often dangerous- behaviour is increasingly visible on sites like youtube, and I'm not sure I like where that is going. This film illustrates the ease in which rumours can spiral out of control and lead to problems for youth, but slightly undercuts that message because it is a comedy. As a comedy, it needs to have an ending that is both redeeming in nature and happy. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic film with only a few tiny, teenie problems.

1) The kiss at the end is unecessary and a bit too "hollywood" for me. Having them ride off on the lawn mower was a perfect scene to show that her situation would improve.
2) The scene at the school where she comes out of the logs and sings and reveals that she will be "kissing" the a devil on her blog was a bit over the top as well. At the same time, I recognize that a movie needs a real climactic moment, and this is as good as any. I'm not sure how else the writers could have created a large, exciting, top-of-the-plot-curve moment without delving into hollywood-level scenes.

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