Monthly Archives: May 2011

Emma Stone Brings Her (Easy) A Game

Before this movie, Emma Stone was exclusively recognized as the girl Seth from Superbad wanted to get drunk and take advantage of. Okay, that was a cheap shot – she was pretty good in Zombieland, but any decent, good looking actress would have prospered alongside Abigail Breslin and Jesse Eisenberg.

This was my judgment on Emma Stone before I spent my first (beautiful, sunny) day of summer watching Easy A inside, by myself. Don’t judge me.

Easy A is unlike any other movie with Stone, because for once, she is the best actress in the production. I really wanted to hate this movie (which I still pretty much do), but I stayed optimistic because of Stone. She succeeded at making even the most cringe-worthy scenes seem adequate.

Her character, Olive, is the only realistic character in the movie. Her outspoken (annoying) best friend Rhiannon is the daughter of nudist-hippie-stoner parents. When Olive is invited over for dinner she is offered a bong hit for dessert. The scene was an abysmal, lazy shot at humor, but it somehow works when Olive replies with,

“No, thank you. I’m trying to watch my figure”

I’m not sure why it works, because on paper that sounds like a ridiculously lame thing to say, but it’s the way she says it. Stone doesn’t overact or deliver her words like a punch line to a joke – she says it like she’s actually responding to a half-naked hippie sitting cross legged diagonally from her.

I evaluate how good an actor is by their believability, so to my standard (yes, the Noah Fish talent standard) Emma Stone is a very good actress.

I like Easy A because it brings us one step closer to movies like Clueless, and one step further away from movies like John Tucker Must Die.

Although I applaud the attempt at depth, the movie did this lazily by adding the “partially inspired by” The Scarlett Letter. Easy A was partially inspired by The Scarlett Letter like I’m partially inspired by politics – I’ll address and follow them because if I do, I’ll feel like a more intelligent, well-rounded person. The same goes for this film, because people will more likely perceive Easy A as witty and intelligent when it claims inspiration from one of the greatest novels of all-time.

The connection between the famous novel and Easy A is weak, but it indirectly challenges the viewer to clarify certain symbols and themes according to how they correlate with the book. In other words, the movie makes you think.

Easy A is efficacious because it spreads hope in a thoughtless, dull genre of high school comedies – progression is what the category needs.  Before Sixteen Candles, there was Rock & Roll High School. But if that progression doesn’t happen, Easy A will be remembered as the movie Emma Stone was way too talented to be in.

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