Easy A (2010)

Staring:Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Lisa Kudrow, (more)
Director: Will Gluck
Score: 3.5/10 (Reviewer: Benjamin Graham)

Cinema as a credible medium is damaged by Gluck and Royal’s valueless feature.

Every now and again a movie of particularly poor quality is made and a reception comes forward that  simply boggles my mind. It often stars poorly performing actors, is directed and written terribly; yet everyone seems to share a neurosis on the subject as if affected by some some studio created thought control device that I, due to some unknown circumstance or childhood injury seem to be immune. This is very much the case with this year’s low brow teen romp, ‘Easy A’.

Olive (Emma Stone) is a high school aged pseudo-intellectual outcast with a token self promoting rebel friend (Alyson Michalka) to contrast. Poor Olive however falls into a web of deceit she cannot escape when she starts to accept payment for endorsing the pretense that a myriad of boys at her school have had sex with her. This starts out innocently enough with a favor to an empathetic slovenly lad who needs a reputation boost, but things unexpectedly takes a quick turn for the worse as she’s labeled the school harlot.

Thankfully she’s part of one of those new fangled ‘modern families’; having two adoptive, spaced out new age parents and an African-American step brother to aid her in her time of need by providing well reasoned rations of food for thought (in the form of meaningless, light hearted platitudes). It’s good she has this support though, as she has to attend class day to day with an uptight christian stereotype (Amanda Bynes) who has her watchful eye on the morality of all.

With all this in place, Olive decides to own her new found boy hungry persona and sows a flaunting ‘A’ on her chest, as she’s such a clever girl, able to reference a classic piece of literature – that her class has been assigned to read. I guess that had to be the way, so other people at the school would understand the reference; but soon enough Olive is feeling all wrong done by due to her oh so innocent fraudulent misrepresentation and woe is her! How will she ever escape and gasp – get the boy of her dreams?!

That’s right folks, this is the garbage that passes as a highly regarded teen film in this day and age – filled with cliches, stereotypes and formulaic dialog. It’s almost like they grabbed one of the poorer episodes of DeGrassi High, extended it to feature length and then held our their hands to the viewer with a knowing smirk on their iniquitous faces.

While Stone certainly makes one wonder who she is related to in Hollywood that keeps casting her in movies, no one in the cast deserves to be spared embarrassment. There isn’t a single solid performance in the entire movie from a single actor, not in even in once scene. A special applause needs to given to Lisa Kudrow however, who has once againg flawlessly carried on her proud tradition of portraying the exact same monotonous character in every role she has ever been cast; she’s a disgrace and her woeful performance drags this train-wreck down from the bridge and into the ravine in which it drowns.

Amanda Bynes shows the stunning range we’ve come to expect from her; continuing to chase the fleeting shadow of her childhood career, not quite understanding that there is a different standard required of her as an adult. Bynes couldn’t have been any worse, and at least she has that to console her when looking back on this movie; she can only get better, as I’m certain she can’t do any worse. As her cute childhood features leave her and she transforms into what must be some monster of Sweedish folklore, we will likely see less of her. The future is indeed looking bright my friends, let tomorrow come and today pass us by peacefully.

I wish I could speak to Mr Gluck, if only to inform him that he has done something bad, and that he should feel bad. There is nothing good about the way this film is constructed and nothing interesting in the locales or aesthetic. Completely cookie cutter is the requisite term here; not a single unique or notable feature.

If you need to miss just a single movie this year, this is the movie. I’d suggest that if you want to make a positive decision to better your life, then making a commitment to abstain from patronising this film would certainly certain qualify. In my mind no movie this year has done as much to disgrace the medium of film, nor seen a worst cast of actors. If one were to attend the local community theater company, ask for a list of the worst applicants they’d had for their last season and arranged them into a production of Schindler’s List performed exclusively in an outhouse then you would still find a more tasteful and worthwhile experience than this utter filth.

Perhaps writing these words will clear my mind of this movie, sadly I doubt I’ll ever be able to unsee it. I can only live in hope that one day science will discover a way to remove these wretched memories from my mind in a way in which they can never return. Perhaps then I will be availed of respite from the nightmare that is ‘Easy A’.

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