By Clint Morris
I’m going to start with Emma Stone – just as the filmmakers here should’ve.
Though the star of the show – and I mean that factually; she’s the headline act! – ”Easy A” credits actress Stone last – and no, it’s not because the talent are listed in alphabetical order and seemingly not because the top positions are reserved for the films heavyweights (Amanda Bynes? Please!).
Yep, there she is, the films star, listed last with one of those ‘usually reserved for Samuel L.Jackson special appearance tags’ “…and Emma Stone”.
It shouldn’t bother me where and when an actor is credited in a movie, and it usually wouldn’t, but in this case one can’t help but feel that Ms Stone deserves a little more love. Why? Because Stone, also impressive (though to lesser extent) in ”Superbad” and ”Zombiebad”, is sublime – the screen loves her! It’s not the film’s dialogue you’ll be talking about going home, but the performance of it’s raven-haired leading lady!
You award a firefighter for racing into a burning building and saving the residents within.
You acknowledge the winner of a triathlon with a trophy.
You thank the kindly stranger for grabbing your runaway baby stroller.
Why hasn’t director Will Gluck (”Fired Up!”) insisted his film’s saving grace – and, quite frankly, main draw-card – be listed top of the titles trail?!
The girl is crazy good in this – Goldie Hawn in ”Private Benjamin” good, Gilda Radner in good, Shelley Long in ”Cheers” good! (and no surprise to learn that they’re some of Stones greatest influences). I guess you could say she’s the tiger grip that holds the vehicle together.
So, again, what’s with the “and..” credit!?
A riff on the films of John Hughes (Clearly. Hughes’ classics are referenced frequently; music – even a clip – from ”The Breakfast Club” plays) as well as other seminal 80s teen films (”Cant Buy Me Love”, ”Say Anything”), ”Easy A” is a light but nicely crafted comedy about a young girl who (Similarly to Ronald Miller in ”Cant Buy Me Love”) lies her ass off to be popular.
Olive (Stone) is a High Schooler who, while not unpopular, feels she definitely doesn’t have as exciting a reputation as some of her colleagues. Convinced her peers believe anything they hear, the youngster kicks off a rumour about losing her virginity – and, before too long, expands on that rumour by suggesting she’s working her way through most of the boys in town.
Word gets out in some circles that Olive is a master of the make-over and as in exchange for a gift card for her favourite department store, will gladly help start a false rumour on one’s behalf.
The film isn’t a masterpiece- heck it’s not even a masterpiece as far as teen comedies go – but it is solid. ”Easy A” is genuinely funny, superbly cast (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Olive’s wacky parents was a master idea!) and filled with enough pop culture references to score points with the brains trust. But as I said, take Emma Stone out of the picture and it’d likely play significantly flatter.