If you want a fun, feel-good movie, with great dialogue and a stand-out star performance, then I highly recommend Easy A.
Emma Stone is fantastic as the high school girl who perpetuates the rumour that she's lost her virginity, when she really hasn't. Her character, 'Olive', complicates matters by helping a variety of outcast boys at school, from her gay friend 'Brandon', to the overweight and socially challenged, by pretending to help them with fake sexual experiences in exchange for gift vouchers.
Ostracized by the school's religious element and even alienating her friends, her life starts to resemble that of 'Hester Prynne' from 'The Scarlet Letter' and she even takes to wearing a red A, as an homage to the condemned woman, to enhance her raunchy new image.
As you can imagine Olive's gambit soon spirals out of control and with the aid of her 'almost too perfect family', a school mascot love interest and the internet she tries to rebuild her reputation.
It really is a fun film, filled with great acting and observations of today's society. The use of texting, phones and instant messaging to spread gossip is just one example and kind of reminded me of an updated scene in Grease when rumours of Rizzo's pregnancy spreads the old fashioned way by word-of-mouth by people jumping from car to car.
Even the downsides like the fact her parents are too good to be true, still provide great comedic moments with tales of her mother's own High School sexual antics and witty repartee surrounding the adoption of her younger black brother.
Even though at 92 minutes it's a good length, at one stage for me it seemed to drag and I wondered is the central premise behind the story wasn't enough to sustain an entire movie. Luckily, just as I thought the film had run out of steam (or that it was an extra long episode of Glee), it was rescued by a happily ever after and we got a cool song and dance number and all was well in the world again.
I do wonder how today's audiences will appreciate the John Hughes and other 80's coming-of-age movie influences like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but it's still an enjoyable movie and the audience I watched it with laughed the whole way through, which is always a good sign.
I give Easy A four **** stars. It's certainly a comedic highlight in a so far mediocre year in film.
I can't wait to see what Emma Stone does next...