Homage to Hughes
To continue with my Saturday double-feature romp, I saw Easy A, the new teen comedy starring Emma Stone. I wanted to wait until I got the opinions of my 17 year old daughter before writing this up. I saw this movie in the afternoon and she went later that night with a group of friends. As soon as the film ended for me, I texted her (how teen of me!) and told her that she’d totally love it. I hit the nail on the head. It’s basically my fault that I raised her to expect a little more from her movies, even the teen sex comedy ones. Her friends constantly drag her to horrible movies like 17 Again, and she knows they’re bad going in.
Easy A, however, is a gem completely raised to new heights by the winsome Emma Stone. My daughter and I have loved her since Superbad. I hope this is a break out role for her like Juno was for Ellen Page. She’s witty and sassy and the camera loves those gorgeous doe-eyes!
I’m going out on a limb and saying that if John Hughes made a movie today it would be Easy A. Now before you jump down my throat, think about it. The characters are so loveable you want to spend time with them. A couple of years from now, you’ll pass this on TBS on a Sunday afternoon and you will sit and watch the whole thing again. This is a typical John Hughes film: overly witty banter, over-blown situations and misplaced musical numbers. It’s never a secret that this film is a love letter to Hughes: Stone sings in the shower like Ferris Bueller, gives a “geek” her underwear like in Sixteen Candles and has the hunkiest guy in school suddenly into her. Everything sexual is simply implied, but everything on-screen is quite chaste.
The adult roles are where this film departs from Hughes and into its own territory. Hughes uses adults as the idiots, props and enemies, whereas director Will Gluck shows us fully developed adult characters. Not all of the adults are likeable, but it’s refreshing to see Stone’s character actually getting along with her parents and the mutual respect and trust they show each other. She actually has adults she can confide in when all the teens have turned their backs on her, and it’s nice to see them looking out for her.
Penn Badgley as our “perfect hunk” brings the typical balance of teen hotness with a strong dose of sweet relatable guy. As usual, most seventeen year old guys are not this hot, but that follows a long line of teen comedies too, so it still works.
Overall, you may think I’m giving this movie too much credit, but you have to remember how important teen movies are to you when you are in your teens. My daughter immediately came home and asked if we could get Easy A when it comes out on DVD. Sure, I shared some of the best all-time teen flicks with her, but shouldn’t she be allowed to have some of her own?
By the way, I read The Scarlet Letter in High school, so I have all the territory covered when viewing this flick!