Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy As

Teen films are well placed for making the most withering social commentary. The Breakfast Club sliced into American class structures. Juno was the mirror in which America could see its own puritanical self-righteousness reflected back. And Easy A, a new film starring the delightfully husky Emma Stone, does some of the best work on the dealing with the modern technological reality I've seen.
From the opening scene where our girl Olive uses Google Earth as a metaphor for her social status to the live webcast which frames the film, this a movie which unshrinkingly explores the text/sext-riddled quotidian mess that is 2010.
In the tradition of Clueless and Ten Things I Hate About You, Easy A draws on a classic; Nathaniel Hawthorn's The Scarlet Letter. But in another nod to these post-post-modern times, rather than mimicking the plot of the canonical heavyweight (Emma in the case of Clueless, The Taming of the Shrew for Ten Things I Hate About You), this film engages critically with its precursor. Our sassy heroine self-consciously decides to use the scarlet letter to her advantage.
Sure some of the actors are on the wrong side of 25 and Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson make impossibly fantastic and endlessly punny parents, but nevertheless this an eminently enjoyable movie; a movie for teachers, teens and their parents as well as pop-culture fangirls like me. Or in the words of an ersatz Mr Robert Martin, 'Two thumbs up; fine holiday fun'.

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