Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse.
Friendless Peter Klaven goes on a series of man-dates to find a Best Man for his wedding. But when his insta-bond with his new B.F.F. puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancée, can the trio learn to live happily ever after?
John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of committed womanizers who sneak into weddings to take advantage of the romantic tinge in the air, find themselves at odds with one another when John meets and falls for Claire Cleary.
After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. Written by
Fun, hip and goofy modern comedy and '80s comedy homage
Through much of the beginning of "Easy A," you have to find all the
'80s teen comedy homages fishy. Maybe director Will Gluck and Burt V.
Royal are trying to dress up a classic Hughesian formula with modern
banter and social media references. Then, somewhere near the halfway
point, comes the admission. Olive, played by up-and-comer Emma Stone,
confesses she wants her life to have a "Sixteen Candles" or "Breakfast
Club" or "Say Anything" moment. Ah, and suddenly this is homage
territory -- much better. Like the rest of this hip, fun and
surprisingly touching comedy, any time "Easy A" wanders down the path
of cliché, a killer line or great scene nullifies it.
It all begins and ends with Stone, who can do a little bit of
everything, which ought to ensure her a long career. She can do typical
teen comedy lead autopilot/earn our sympathy, she can command the
improvisation-like tangential dry humor that has defined the comedies
of the last five or so years and she can be the sensitive, fragile
Molly Ringwald type. Nothing feels forced or unnatural in her
performance. She seems to be having fun and milking to goofy nature of
More importantly, the reason "Easy A" is so good is because it never
stops being about Olive's story. A high school nobody, Olive lets her
best friend (Alyson Michalka) pressure her into lying about losing her
virginity. The simple lie gets overheard by the super-Christian Miss
Everybody (Amanda Bynes) and suddenly everyone sees Olive differently,
or sees her period. After deciding to embrace the attention as school
slut (the story reaches here a bit), Olive then starts to pretend to
have sex with guys in need of a reputation boost, which consequently
sullies her own.
The only real problem with "Easy A" is that there's no good reason to
believe Stone was this unattractive nobody given her actual
attractiveness and the friends she has -- and we're supposed to believe
that suddenly everyone is interested in her because she lost her
virginity. Gluck tries to spin this into a positive by making it almost
comical how everyone is staring at her or waiting in a perfect line for
her to come down the hall, but it's the one scratch in this gem -- take
it or leave it. The script and humor and situations that arise
eventually more than make up for this road bump.
Gluck's filmmaking is hip and common of modern comedy while the writing
is clever and spontaneous. For no logical reason, a scene when Olive's
gay friend Brandon (the one she helps first) comes over, Stone and
Patricia Clarkson, who plays her mother, do this quick exchange of
pretending they're in the Old South and a boy has come over and asked
for her. Though completely random and a bit forced, they actually work
well at making the characters seem more organic, which is the challenge
of most comedies, especially those made today.
Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as the parents are the comic relief. When
was the last time parents in a teen comedy were genuine comic relief?
They walk a fine line between wacko and genuinely caring and loving
parents, but it totally works. Two more originally funny parents have
don't exist in any movie. Characters such as the aforementioned best
friend Rhiannon and Bynes' are more by-the-book as far as being teen
comedy stencils, but like every other small flaw with the film, they're
covered up by all the multi-dimesional and more interesting ones.
Worthy of mention are school faculty members played by Thomas Haden
Church, Lisa Kudrow and Malcolm MacDowell.
Most intriguing of all is how the film actually succeeds at finding
moments of genuine drama. A few well-thought-out and creative plot
twists introduce an intelligence seemingly foreign to these kinds of
comedies. The key once again comes from staying focused on Olive's
story. The film is structured as a retelling with narration from Olive,
so it's told in a reflective manner, which ultimately keeps it from
veering off course. It's about Olive wrestling with this lie and her
feelings about how she wants to be perceived, along with her
understandable pity for the boys who request her "services." High
school's rough and reputation seems to be everything. Some elements of
the high-school experience in "Easy A" might be way off, but that's
Although it lacks the intangible innocence of the numerous '80s
comedies it references, "Easy A" has a unique and lively spirit of its
own and is the best teen comedy (at least featuring a female, finally!)
in years. More importantly, it shows that the modern teenage sense of
humor and good storytelling don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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