PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material.
September 17, 2010
Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Cam Gigandet
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Paralleling the classic work, The Scarlett Letter, Emma Stone’s new movie, Easy A examines the worth of a person’s reputation, a lie's destruction, and the severity of the judgment of a village – in this case, a modern-day high school.
Impressionable days as they are, high school is the time that shapes a young person’s life. And that’s what works for and against this film. Unfortunately, Easy A’s interesting premise, moral thoughts on judging others, and funny family moments are buried beneath offensive content.
The Movie in a Minute
Olive (Emma Stone) is a typical high school nobody… until she tells a lie about losing her virginity. Gossip spreads the fake info like wildfire, to the point that she becomes the center of attention as the school floozy. Behind the gossip is her strongest judge, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), who is the school’s “nice” Christian girl. With rumors flying, Olive embraces her bad-girl reputation and uses it to help a gay friend convince his bullying classmates that he’s straight. But when the tall tales get out of control, Olive discovers the mess her life has become and resolves to fix it -- somehow.
Easy A: Where It Passes and Fails
High marks are given to the lead actress who carries the film’s story arc and humor well. Emma Stone (Zombieland, Superbad) is no novice when it comes to comedies. She's completely on cue with the character and is definitely a face we will continue to see on the big screen.
The interaction of Olive with her family is where moviegoers will find some of the funniest moments. Her father (Stanley Tucci), mother (Patricia Clarkson), and adopted brother create this chemistry that is unmatched -- compared with the rest of the cast. It just works.
Where the movie falls into dangerous territory is its use of profanity and obscenities, and the sexual content. One scene involving a panicky high school counselor (Lisa Kudrow) gives audiences an earful of profane uses of God’s name. And central to the theme of the story, Easy A does explore teen sexuality (all aspects).
Besides the above mentioned offenses, Easy A mocks Christians. Marianne, Olive’s biggest adversary and accuser, who essentially takes on the role of the townspeople from The Scarlett Letter, is religious. But, she doesn't exhibit one Christ-like quality. Nothing about her says she has a strong faith in God. Sitting with her huddled prayer group, she convinces the other Christians to make a purity vow (but, it's more of a joke on film than an actual vow that many teens today make -- and keep). One "follower" is seen whimsically playing a guitar behind Marianne as she fumes over Olive’s indiscretions. At another point, the same group starts singing and swaying back and forth in front of the school. They even form a protest against Olive -- signs and all.
Seeing as this movie is based on The Scarlet Letter, it’s understandable that judgment is needed. But there isn't one redeeming "Christian" character; they are all Olive’s enemies and are out of line with scripture (Matthew 7:1-5). Still in a film that seeks to expose judgment toward those who are ridiculed, it fails to see that it judges those who live according to true Christian faith too harshly.
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Hannah Goodwyn wanted to like this movie. She really did. But the offensive language and sexual content is just too much for the audience it's designed to reach.
She is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page. E-mail Hannah!
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