Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Video review: "Easy A"

I hope things work out for Emma Stone.

"Easy A" was a smart, literate take on the sexual politics of the high school crucible. No surprise there, since it's based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter."
But it turns out this all-too-rare kind of movie doesn't bode well for its star.

Winona Ryder was a revelation in "Heathers," but after a few years on top her career fizzled after that whole shoplifting ordeal. (Meanwhile, her male peers got into much worse scrapes and sailed right along.) Lindsay Lohan looked like Ryder's heir after the clever "Mean Girls" a few years ago, and I think we all know what a cascading train wreck she's become.

Here's hoping Stone, who made quite an impression as a smart girl who pretends to be a floozy, keeps it real.

Olive is a nobody at her school, not so much disliked as anonymous. A virgin, she spreads the rumor that she slept with a college guy to stop her friends from pressuring her into sex. Turns out it gives her a leg up the social hierarchy.

After repeating the trick for a gay friend to stop the harassment he's been getting, Olive soon finds herself the most famous -- make that infamous -- gal in town. Soon every loser and geek around is bribing her to pretend they had sex.

"I fake-rocked your world!" she complains to one under-generous benefactor.
The movie's so smart, in fact, that some of the jokes will sail over the head of some audience members. There's a novelty: A film about high schoolers that challenges those who watch it, instead of indulging them.

Extras are the same for DVD and Blu-ray editions, and are just so-so.

There's a gag reel and Emma Stone's audition tape. The centerpiece is a feature-length commentary track with Stone and director Will Gluck.

Movie: 3 stars out of four
Extras: 2.5 stars

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