Saturday, May 28, 2011

30-Day Challenge 21: "Easy A" Movie Review

QOTD: Have you ever seen a movie that was loved by most but hated by you?
Day 21: A picture of something that makes you happy.



Why, do you ask, does this picture make me happy? Well for one, it's FOOD. More specifically, it's p-a-s-t-a, probably my favorite foods of all time (besides chocolate, of course hehe). But this particular dish makes me smile because this was the result of my very first independent cooking lesson. Using a simple recipe from my SparkRecipes BlackBerry phone app, I concocted this delicious lunch for myself last week. Reaction? Quite truthfully, it was one of the best pasta I've ever eaten--and that's saying A LOT! Two hours of squinting at the labels on ingredients and praying that I wouldn't burn anything was totally worth it.

So a couple nights ago I decided to have a break from Smallville re-runs (the series finale aired last week!!), and have a movie night! I decided on Easy A because I'm always in the mood for a good laugh and it's been a while since I've seen a chick flick.

I was really not planning on saying this about the movie because I'd had pretty high hopes for it, but the truth is, I have to give Easy A a D- for being one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It wasn't the acting or even the crazy sex jokes....it was the unrealistic, raunchy script that had me burying my face with my hands and groaning with embarrassment for the writers.

It could've been an okay film if it didn't have so much exaggeration in EVERYTHING. Plus, I couldn't help but think of it as a mix between Mean Girls and A Cinderella Story during the whole thing--except those two movies are way better than Easy A.


Note: I try not to include any big spoilers or give away really important information--I don't see myself as a party pooper! :) So read away.
Short Summary: This comedy takes place in high school and follows Olive, a usually sharp "good girl" with a clean record who starts to believe that perhaps having a bad reputation is better than having no reputation at all--and thus begins to lie about her relationship status and virginity. It's a modern tale of the classic novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (which I read in high school and have to say is very good).
Story: To me, the story of a movie is the world that it was set up in (for example: "Harry Potter" set in the Wizarding World, "Pearl Harbor" set in WWII era, etc.). There's not really much to say about this category since the movie's reality is, well, pretty realistic--it's set up in the dramatic, over-the-top world of high school in today's age. In terms of the cliques, teaching staff, and student body portrayed in the story, everything was pretty accurate. Rating: 5/5
Plot: The plot equals the problem and is the whole reason why there's a movie in the first place. I think it was really interesting and clever how the film creators were able to produce a modern-day Scarlet Letter tale...it was based along the same lines but included its own twists along the way that made it unique. However, like everything else, it was a bit exaggerated and I don't know if anything like that would happen in real life. I can't actually imagine something like that occurring at my own high school. *rolls eyes* Rating: 4/5
Characterization: Eh, this was half and half I suppose. I did enjoy Olive's character, she was easy to like and easy to identify with. Without giving too much away, even though she made some bad choices, we as the audience know her intentions were good. I also enjoyed getting to know the other high school students who were represented in the movie--they were funny, realistic, unique in their own way, and all-around interesting to watch as they interacted with Olive. The main problem I have is how the adults who play active roles in teens' lives are made out to be irresponsible and immature, act practically like kids themselves, and lack morals that educators/parents such as themselves ought to have. Perhaps their characterizations were meant to be humorous, but I personally disliked those characters who should have served as role models in the end, not older versions of "juvenile delinquents." Rating: 3/5
Costumes: Well the characters mainly wore normal "high school" outfits, with the exception of Olive's infamous "Scarlet Letter" costumes (yes, she had more than one!). I thought that they were beyond cute, well-made, and did a great job singling her out amongst her peers as the "scandalous" one. Rating: 5/5
Acting: It's really sad...some of Hollywood's most well-known actors (including Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Alyson Michalka and Stanley Tucci) were brought together to create a hilarious teen comedy that could've been really great had it not been blown out of proportion. The acting was terrible--it was ish. It was what the filmmakers wanted the actors to say and do that was bad and made them come across as, well, outrageous. I do have to say that Olive was a charm. She was a very likable main character and was played by a great actress. Rating: 3/5
Script: I cannot fully express my disappointment over how awful the script was. It was overly excessive most of the time and constant repetition of the same humorous jokes just totally sucked the funny out of everything. Several times I wanted to look away, cover my ears and yell, "Stop! STOP! That's enough!" I feel so bad that such a wonderful cast had to work with such a catastrophic script. One major downfall that completely turned me off was that it tantalizes and makes fun of Christianity in ways that are extremely not cool. And this wasn't just lighthearted, appropriate jesting, but rather mocking and condescending banter. Bad, bad. Rating: 2/5
Action/Drama: There was a ton of drama in the movie--how could there not be when the setting takes place in high school? A lot of it was pretty funny, but only when the situations weren't highly exaggerated or unnecessarily complicated by unrealistic turning points (see how I'm trying to be vague so as not to give anything too much away?). I know a comedy is a comedy, but still. Way too much is more than enough. Rating: 3/5
Digital Design: Not much was used here (unlike in movies such as Avatar and Inception) I did like how zooms and slow motion were used to show passage of time and communication between students when the rumors were being spread around the school. Free pass. Rating: 5/5
Direction/Production: The direction itself wasn't too bad...I thought that the webcast that Olive publicized online and used to tell her story was pretty clever, and I liked how things were angled so that it was constantly in Olive's perspective. The scenes flowed together well--I didn't think anything was missing or too choppy. But it could've been better. Rating: 3/5
Overall Quality: While this movie had some aspects of ingenuity, to me its cons outweigh the pros. Above anything, this movie is a satire of the craziness that is high school culture--hmm, perhaps I didn't find it amusing enough because it was only a few months ago when I myself was a part of that jungle? Anyhow, the filmmakers (especially the writers) tried way too hard to make it seem funny and witty, when the result was just very strained, weak, and rather embarrassing humor. I feel sorry for the Hollywood stars who played in this movie and had to use their remarkable acting skills to pull off stupid, over-the-top lines and outlandish, unrealistic behavior. I also didn't feel like the ending was well-handled....a lot of issues brought up in this movie are pretty significant and prominent when it comes to adolescence, and the overall message was there, but it just didn't seem like there was a strong enough closure.
Overall Rating: 3.7/5

All that being said, I do think that there is a movie out there for someone. What I may think is absolutely ridiculous may just be your perfect Blockbuster. :)






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9 comments:

Lydia K said...

That trailer is hilarious, but your review makes me wonder if I should watch it...whichever I decide, thanks!

Deana said...

I don't think I have heard any good reviews about this movie...but your food, now I'll bet that was good. You've just made me hungry:)

Oh to Be a Muse said...

i didn't think it was that bad, but i totally see your points. and i love that photo of the pasta--yum!

to answer your QOTD: Hangover 2. i think a lot of people are liking it, but i really didn't.

Becca. said...

fab trailer! i want to go see it now! :)
and yes adrianne jewellery have some serious bargains! love love love it!

thanks for the comment on my blog
XOXO, BECCA
http://www.fashion-train.co.uk

Essiefashion said...

That looks good!
xxx

rosaria said...

That was a thorough examination of a movie you didn't enjoy. I wonder how well you'd examine one you enjoyed! Seriously, I'm impressed with how much energy and commitment you invested in this review.

You must have great analytical skills.

Talli Roland said...

I haven't heard of this film and based on your review, I don't think I'll be watching it any time soon! :) I would love some pasta, though!

Nahno McLein said...

The cooking lesson looks delicious, I'm hungry for pasta now.

The movie doesn't have a very appealing name either, so go figure.
Nahno ∗ McLein

Alison said...

Thanks for your review! I was pretty iffy on watching this movie at first, but when I signed up and started subscribing and working with DISH Network and got their Blockbuster by mail trial free for three months (http://bit.ly/khvWnc), this was just one of those movies I had to put into my queue. Since I got it and watched it recently, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the story and I thought the characters did a great job. It was a comedy that delivered and made me laugh! I always love a good laugh! It is definitely worth renting at least in my opinion!

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