Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not a typical teen movie

I have a list of movie’s I’d like to review; I just never get around to them. I fully intended on writing about Machete, but another movie came along that I enjoyed so much, that I just had to share it.

What movie is this that could make me scratch the plans to talk about a movie that is right up my alley? You’ll be shocked when I say that this movie is not full of gratuitous nudity, gore, absurd death scenes, and gallons of CGI blood.

Easy A is that movie.

Wait! Don’t run away yet! I promise this is worth it.

When I first saw trailers for this flick I was intrigued because it is obviously a modern twist of Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. They put it right there in the open – look at the title. Most of us remember having to read that in high school (some of us had to read it AGAIN in college) and who can forget the awful adaptation starring Demi Moore? So, my love of classic literature commanded that I watch this one.

On the surface it is just another teen movie focusing on high school drama and gossip. Where it differs from other teen movies of late is that this movie is smart. Emma Stone is a convincing wallflower of a girl (Olive) who wants nothing more than to skate through four years of torture unnoticed. Like all of us, she does fantasize about being the focus of attention, but she never really wants it. Then, the spotlight of the entire school is on her due to one lie leading to another lie that then spreads around school. Soon, she’s the school slut and the target of a laughable group of religious students.

Here is where the character wins me over. She embraces the gossip and decides to give them something to talk about. She embroiders large red “A”s on a new wardrobe consisting of provocative, lowcut tops. In typical teen movie fashion, things spiral out of her control and she longs to be the unknown she once was.

Blah blah blah, right? Wrong. I said this was a smart movie didn’t I? Here is where it shows it. The movie has no pretense of being anything more than it is. The writers were not above even mentioning this fact. Olive does this via her narration with witty segment titles that summarize what is going to happen. How many classic books have chapter titles the do that very thing? I’ve lost count. She lists movies that depict high school life falsely, and pines about how she wises they were true. They are all John Hughes films!

Here is a movie that is obviously following in the footsteps of Hughes and they make sure to point it out, complete with clips. Of course, the major punch line is at the end when all of those scenes are combined. I won’t go into too much detail but it involves a boom box (sort of), a lawnmower, and throwing a fist in the air (Judd Nelson did it before those Jersey Shore douches and their fist pumping shit).

All the while, the movie whips a little message at you. Just beneath the sarcasm, cynicism, angst, innuendo, and humor is some truth. Kids gossip. About anything. All the time. That aspect of the movie reminded me more of “Much Ado About Nothing”. Shakespeare and Hawthorne in one movie? Awesome in my book. This was the most enjoyable teen movie I’ve seen in a long time (going back to Can’t Hardly Wait and American Pie.) Hit it up on Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, or wherever you get movies and watch this one!


Last Quote: A Team

Today’s Quote: “We've had nine classes together since Kindergarten... ten if you count Religion of Other Cultures, which you didn't because you called it science fiction and refused to go.”

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