Skip to main content

Double-standard Crushers Come in Many Forms

Movie Review: Easy A (2010)
Spoilers: none

---

Easy A is a promising contender for one of the best films of the year. Along with 2007’s Superbad, it happens to be a rare example of how that mock-worthy and pointlessly hedonistic genre of teen comedy can, in fact, be saved just when you swore up and down that it couldn’t.

The should-be-amazingly-obvious-but-worth-stating-again-anyway truth: When the plot of a teen-targeting film doesn’t focus to a fault on the illegal consumption/use and trafficking of booz, bongs, and banging, good things can and do happen—and at the same time, young audiences are won over.

Knowing nothing about the film ahead of time, it was only 43 minutes in until I knew what “Easy A” actually stood for—and no, it has not a thing in the world to do with a sexy-but-misunderstood teacher getting it on behind closed doors with a hot, young female student who wouldn’t pass otherwise.

After fibbing to her best friend (Alyson Michalka) on why she chose not to join her on a camping trip because of a made-up fling with a college student, the rumor mill does its wonders, and the school soon sees V-cardholder Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) as not just a virgin, but a sold-out slut. Seizing the limelight in a retro attempt to wear her own Scarlett Letter-inspired, trollop attire, things go good for a while as Olive milks the lie for all its worth. But soon, the ill-gotten popularity begins to work against her as her social life erodes.

Olive is surrounded by some interesting characters, all of them we want to see more of because we see their personality traits in some of the people we know. And the ones at home with her are just as peculiar as those at school. Her mother (Patricia Clarkson), stepfather (Stanley Tucci), and adopted little brother (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) are a handful. But none compete with her antagonistic lead and hilariously fundamentalist Christian, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), who loves nothing more than to tell Olive just how headed to hell she is. What more would you expect from the proud and pious high school-equivalent of a pitchfork mob-leader who wants the perceived skank kicked out of school?

Now throw in a screwy school counselor, Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow, opposite Thomas Haden Church), with marital issues. And then don’t forget the cast of mostly unforgettable peers that play weighty roles in the plot, and you have a movie that runs rings around its competition.

In addition to exposing the popular myth that everyone in high school these days loses their virginity somewhere around age nine, Easy A takes a hammer to the double-standards that are thrust on females, the same standards that are never put on males; a fling for a man is just another notch in the bedpost, but for a woman, it’s a disgrace and a sign of an ominous, open-legged “lady of the evening.” This laughably lampooned hypocrisy can be as appreciated as the embellished behavior of absolutely every character in the film.

Easy A aims to be funny, and it is, in its intensely comical characterizations that never stop delivering on laughs from the exaggerations that you may begin to anticipate and want more of. And we can laugh all we want and be amazed at the pathetically depicted, two-faced nature of human beings, but underneath the chuckles is something serious about how easy it is to be someone else. The tough part is owning up and embracing the real you.

(JH)

---

Grade: A+ (4 stars) Recommended!
Rated: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material)
Director: Will Gluck
Summary: A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.
Starring: Emma Stone "Olive," Penn Badgley "Woodchuck Todd," Amanda Bynes "Marianne," Dan Byrd "Brandon," Thomas Haden Church "Mr. Griffith," Patricia Clarkson "Rosemary," Lisa Kudrow "Mrs. Griffith," Malcolm McDowell "Principal Gibbons"
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Trailer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…