I would like to add a potential subtitle to this film- ‘Easy A: A demonstration of how radically different British schooling is to fictional America’. Whilst this may sound like a cheap shot, the entire premise of ‘Easy A’ revolves around the idea that someone at High School had sexual intercourse (I believe that’s what they call it) with a guy from out of school, and then….again (I know! Can you believe it?) with a guy from in the school. Throughout the film I was under the assumption that I was suspending my disbelief. If our two countries are in any way alike then it should come as a surprise to precisely no one that 18 year olds are having sex. Add to this an entirely virginal year (even the girl nicknamed ‘Big Tits’ hasn’t ‘done it’), Bible bashing Christians in perhaps the most liberal state of all and violent homophobic bullying (see the state point again) and it all feels a little surreal.
But taken out of modern day context ‘Easy A’ is an interesting and successful modern day re-imagining of ‘The Scarlet Letter’. Emma Stone reeks of star-to-be in the lead role, her big blue eyes and gravelly voice make her an unthreatening pin up. It’s no wonder that she’s been cast as Gwen Stacy in the reawakening of Spiderman alongside The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield. Alongside her Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci do a decent job as the cooler-than-cool parents with the adopted black child (a throwaway gag, but a funny one). Penn Badgley, Dan from Gossip Girl for those who can’t put a face to the name, is her desperately decent love interest and Amanda Bynes is the kooky Christian who (shock of shocks) it turns out is worse than even the promiscuous girl everyone thinks Stone is.
The whole cast are on decent if unspectacular form and that’s a nice way to sum up the entire movie. It doesn’t go on a Twilight style crusade against loose morals and in promotion of abstinence, but it gets there by the end. Is it funny? Not terribly, although it’s a smiley movie throughout- more pleasant than hilarious, and by no means a chore to sit through. Rumor has it there’s a filth laden version on the horizon with almost 50 uses of the most dastardly expletive (in the film it was unconvincingly replaced by the word ‘twat’).
A warm movie led by a star performance from Emma Stone. This isn’t a vintage but it’s a refreshingly problem free return to the land of American High School romance. Sweet, but simple.