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MOVIE REVIEW: Easy A

Class is in session in this smart film

Easy A: Rates a B-.
Courtesy photo

Easy A gets a B-.

There are other teen comedies that are so much better – going back to the John Hughes classics of the 1980s (which are lovingly paid tribute to in this film) – and even more contemporary films like Election, Clueless, and Mean Girls I liked a lot more.

This movie is a lot like Mean Girls, right down to future star Emma Stone, who reminds me a lot of Lindsay Lohan.

I found the Stone character to be a little like Juno, in the sense that she’s wise beyond her years. For some reason though, it was a lot more believable and enjoyable in this movie than Diablo Cody’s forced and contrived Juno dialogue.

The premise basically has Stone getting caught in a lie about losing her virginity, and quickly being branded “easy.”

She doesn’t mind this for two reasons: One, she’s smart enough to not care what people think about her. Two, her classmates are noticing her, even if it’s not the type of attention she’d prefer.

When a gay student that is getting bullied asks for her help, convincing her if they pretend to have sex it will help him out, she plays along.

The scene that follows was shown in the trailers. They jump up and down on a bed moaning and groaning, so everyone at the party will think they did the deed.

This is one of those movies that the trailer didn’t do justice to. Nothing in the commercials looked that appealing, but that fake sex scene alone is worth the price of admission. The things they say to each other or yell out, is hysterical.

I’m glad Amanda Bynes came out of retirement, to play the religious classmate (reminded me of Mandy Moore in Saved!). In fact, all the supporting characters are great.

Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci are funny as the parents, although their always having to be on, got to be a bit much at times. You think just once they would’ve realized their daughter was having some problems in school and needed to have a serious talk with her; much like the Thomas Haden Church character (as her favorite teacher).

I think Lisa Kudrow's character could’ve been written better, and I would’ve liked to have seen more of SNL’s Fred Armisen.

When the movie started off with a joke lifted from When Harry Met Sally (on how Stone couldn’t have had fabulous sex with a guy named George, because of the nerdy sounding name), I thought it was going to “borrow” a lot from previous films.

I was pleasantly surprised by the clever and hip wit the movie had, and how in one moment they can make fun of movies (Demi Moore in The Scarlet Letter) or talk openly about how they want a musical number like in Ferris Bueller “for no particular reason.” They even go so far as to show clips of these films and play songs from them. I’d think on paper this would look like a horrible idea, but it works wonderfully.

There’s a clever scene when the school's Blue Devil mascot has to become a Woodchuck (courtesy of the religious group Bynes runs). Instead of it being an over-the-top ridiculous pep rally, it seems real; just like the pep rally in Election.

It seems high school movies now actually cast actors that look like they’re in high school, which is good.

This film is a bit uneven, but the snarky, smart, sexy, and sensitive soul that Stone portrays – along with enough clever jokes – make this easily worth your time.

I can name 10 teen comedies I liked more, but I can also name 200 that are worse.

It’s a B- that you should see after school.