There are some actors that just get catapulted into the spotlight, with everyone knowing who they are immediately, either for the right or wrong reasons. We’ve seen this in the recent past with Shia Lebeouf who found himself included in two popular franchises (Transformers and Indiana Jones) and also, more understandably, Michael Fassbender, who chose amazing films to star in, beginning with X-Men: First Class and continuing with A Dangerous Method and Shame and adding more credence to his name by appearing in this summers Prometheus.
On the other side of that are the people who are delivering great performance after great performance but aren’t becoming mainstream, recognised names. The two actors I’ve already mentioned had the benefit of being cast in some big, high-profile franchises while the actress I’m talking about, Emma Stone, hasn’t quite gone down that route.
Without even knowing it, you’ve seen Emma Stone in Superbad and Zombieland (bet you remember her now!) and more recently she’s been in the slightly more high-profile Crazy, Stupid, Love and, of course, The Help. I would almost guarantee that the same people who know who Shia Lebeouf and Michael Fassbender are, will not know who Emma Stone is though… and that is a huge shame because after watching Easy A, she went up my list of favourite actresses very quickly.
I already loved her in Zombieland but not enough to really remember her but from the moment Easy A started, I was engrossed by her. Her character has that unique characteristic of being someone I would actually want to be friends with! In fact I was slightly annoyed that I didn’t actually know anyone like Emma Stone’s Olive in real life! The character is the perfect mix of sarcasm, sharp wit, incredulous opinion and slight stupidity that makes her both likable and funny. I could have watched the character for another hour after this film finished. I must admit, I might be slightly in love with Emma Stone (or at least Olive) and the fact that she spends most of the film dressed provocatively only fuelled that further (its ok though because she was 22, at least, when she filmed her part as a high school student!)
It wasn’t just because Emma Stone is so watchable and Olive is such a great character that I really liked this film. The film is well written and well cast which means that the lines said by everyone are sharp and witty, from Olive’s parents, played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, to the staff at the school, which includes the classic trio of Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church and the legendary Malcolm McDowell!
The story itself is very clever and fast paced enough to keep it interesting. It echoes and parallels the story “The Scarlet Letter” as well as many other story’s about sex, gossip and reputation, which are the main themes of the film. It has a great structure which sees the film both narrated by Olive through voice-over and also in straight to camera segments that each have their own “chapter.” It also has some great references to classic films, like Breakfast Club and Say Anything. In fact, if John Hughes was alive today, I’d like to think this was the kind of teen film he’d still want to make or at least enjoy.
It does get a little bit silly in places and very predictable towards the end but Emma Stone carries this film through so effortlessly that it doesn’t ever sit with you for too long. Anything Emma Stone’s character doesn’t manage to cover, the charm of the film and other, great, funny characters make up for.
Overall, from the moment I started watching Easy A I was hooked and found it funny and charming. Emma Stone is brilliant and set to be a huge star, I’m sure. I’m more than a little bit in love with her and I don’t think it’s just because of Olive – she’s also Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spiderman and that can only be a good thing!
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)