Friday, December 31, 2010

Easy A DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: 21st Century Interpretation of The Scarlet Letter Arrives on DVD

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) was a social zero who barely registered a blip on the radar at Ojai North High until the fateful Monday morning she inadvertently started a rumor about herself. Too embarrassed to admit to her best friend, Rhiannon (Aly Michalka), that she’d just spent another entire weekend home alone, she impulsively makes up a story about losing her virginity to a college boy.
What Olive didn’t know, as she shared the lurid details of her imaginary deflowering, was that eavesdropping in a bathroom stall was school prude Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes) who began circulating the lie all over campus, leaving Olive saddled with a bad reputation. Curiously, instead of trying to resurrect her tarnished image, ostracized Olive opts to embrace her new slutty persona.
Ostensibly inspired by Hester Prynne, the adulterous protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” she even sews a red “A” on the corset she wears to a house party thrown by a classmate. And it isn’t long before all sorts off nerds and losers are lining up to establish their macho street cred with the help of Olive, as word spreads that she’s willing to let any guy say he’s slept with her, at least for the right price.
Directed by Will Gluck (Fired Up!), Easy A is actually a lot easier to swallow than suggested by its disgusting-sounding premise. That’s thanks to a script which is frankly so funny it never gives you a chance to come up for air to reflect about the political incorrectness of the brand of humor you’re laughing at.
Additional credit goes to Emma Stone for bringing so much spunk to the lead role of Olive as to make the character credible and very memorable, if not exactly empathetic. A feminist variation on a literary classic which triumphantly announces that in the 21st Century it’s a woman’s prerogative to be the town tramp if she darn well wants to.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, drug use and teen sexuality.
Running time: 92 Minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Gag reel, Emma Stone audition footage, and a commentary by Emma Stone and the director.

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