High school. Looking back twenty years later, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not nearly as bad as portrayed in the movies. Yes I realize that some had some great times, others not so much. After moving around the majority of my childhood, I was actually in the same high school for four straight years. And while high school life in the late 80’s/early 90’s was a lot different than it is now; high school is both the same and different for everyone that goes through it. Of course being popular and cool in high school is at the top of everyone’s list and there are several ways to attain this status. At my school it was to play basketball or football (I played tennis). But no matter what you did or what teens still do, there will always be adversity. How far will a person go to make their trip through these four years a bit easier on themselves? “Easy A” begs to answer that question.
Olive (Emma Stone) is a face in the crowd. Granted she’s not a nerd and certainly not unattractive, but nothing about her really stands out. Her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) incorrectly assumes that over the weekend Olive had sex and the word spreads. Olive’s gay friend Brandon (Dan Byrd) has had enough of being picked upon and asks Olive to help spread the word that they had sex. By doing this it will help alleviate the tension on Brandon and make the remainder of his high school days a little less stressful. The plan works, but a little too well. All of the sudden every person in the school is approaching Olive with gift cards (as a form of payment) and wants to use her reputation to help their own social status. The trouble is that this labels Olive somewhat of an outcast after a while. Can Olive shed the “adulteress” image that she’s recently acquired or will she forever be labeled promiscuous?
In our connected world, it’s hard to deny that gossip spreads like wildfire. Consider the fact that this was already the case in high school and you can see the dilemma that Olive is in. And it doesn’t really matter if what’s circulated is actually true – so long as it’s perceived to be true is all that really matters. Even the best laid plans oft go awry, right? “Easy A” has many memorable homage’s to the classic teen films of the 80’s like “The Breakfast Club”, “Weird Science” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and they even mention them by name. While I don’t think “Easy A” will go down in history as good as many of those films, I do have to admit that the movie has a certain charm to it. There’s no doubt that this is Stone’s movie from the get go and that’s fine – she carries it well. There’s a great ensemble cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow and Thomas Haden Church. It’s a cute little movie that deals with a tricky subject, but manages to be family-friendly (sort of).
Video: How does it look?
I’ve become so used to most movies being shown in a wider format that it’s nice to see a movie like “Easy A” shown in a flat 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer. The film takes place in California and makes no secret about it. The skies are always a very welcoming blue, the outfits burst with color and of course we can see the texture in the fabric of Olive’s “A” that she wears on her tops. Flesh tones seem very warm and glowing, detail looks great and contrast is right on the mark. There are a few soft scenes here and there, but by and large this is what we’d expect from a day and date Blu-ray like this.
Audio: How does it sound?
While not as weak as I thought I have to admit that the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack did have a few moments. For the most part this movie is dialogue-driven and it all sounds pretty darn good. There’s a party scene in which the surrounds really get involved, but the front stage takes care of the remainder of the audio. As is the case with most comedies, audio isn’t really at the forefront. I know I’ve said it before, but this delivers what it’s supposed to and that’s just fine.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This two disc set contains enough extras to warrant a purchase, though there are some exclusive to the Blu-ray. We get a gag reel as well as Emma Stone’s audition tapes as well as a feature-length commentary with director Will Gluck and Emma Stone. These two hit it off and I can see why Stone’s performance was so good. A good director has a good rapport with his actors and based off this track, that was certainly the case. Exclusive to the Blu-ray is “The School of Pop Culture: Movies of the Eighties” in which some of the cult classics of the 80’s influenced this film. “Vocabulary of Hilarity” shows us some of the words, both real and fabricated, influenced the script and what could be said and not said on the film. We get the obligatory “The Making of ‘Easy A'” as well as a pop up trivia track. There is also a standard DVD of the movie included.