Friday, 5 November 2010

Easy A - Cineworld - 23/10/10

Sadly "Easy A" is destined for "cult" status.

With little fanfare and opening at the same time as some much bigger fare and on fewer screens it was always going to be an uphill struggle for it to attract an audience.

That is a terrible, terrible shame because this is a funny, caustic, clever, witty and moving film which takes Hawthornes "Scarlet Letter" as a launch pad for a High School comedy that has much to say about the idea of love, relationships, honesty, dishonesty, religion and intolerance.

As with Hawthornes Hester Prynne director Will Gluck and writer Bert V. Royal give us a woman, Olive, who stands accused of sin by people who are themselves sinners. "Olive" uses "Hester" as an inspiration by taking to wearing a scarlet "A" to mark herself as an adulterer...despite the fact that, unlike Hester, she has not actually committed adultery, indeed she is a virgin and is content to be so.

"Olive" (Emma Stone) runs into trouble when she lies to her best friend about having had sex. That conversation is overheard by over-zealous, Christian fundamentalist and all round prig, "Marianne" (Amanda Bynes) who then takes the story to her abstinence group and from there the story spreads like wildfire around the school. At this point Olive may well have been able to claim credibility from her non-existent sexual experience but when she confides in gay friend "Brandon" (Dan Byrd) he convinces her to fake another sexual encounter...with him, in order to convince the jocks at school that he is not gay and so save him from a life of misery. One fake orgasm at a busy party later and Olive has her status as a slut consolidated and Brandon is the new stud on the block. Every geek, weirdo, loser, nerd and fat kid in school is soon lining up to have Olive perform the same miracle on their social standing and as their stock rises so Olives plummets.

With knowing nods to myriad John Hughes movies (including a brilliant "Ferris Bueller" shower scene) Gluck and Royal have created the sort of teen world that is painfully accurate while also being utterly entertaining. The dialogue is sharp and fresh, the characters are always believable and the "moral" of the story feels natural, true and convincing without ever being preachy. What is the moral of the story?

Buy a ticket for the sharpest comedy of the year and you can find out.

This is a film that deserves your attention and attendance.

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