10 reasons why ‘Easy A’ is no ‘Mean Girls’

Friday October 8th 2010


With an 86% RT rating from 140 critics, Easy A is already the year’s most critically acclaimed teen film. This, and the fact that it’s the first teen comedy in years to risk having a girl in the lead role, has led to the inevitable: Mean Girls comparisons.

Well, I’m not having that. Here are ten incontrovertible reasons why Easy A isn’t worth the plastic wrapping on Glenn Coco’s candy canes…

1

NOTHING MAKES SENSE
In what universe does a supposedly unremarkable 17 year old high school student gain the attention of her entire school by losing her virginity? Probably the same universe where you get sent to the principal’s office for saying a mild swear word in English class. It might be the 1950s.

2

IT’S THE WORST KIND OF PG-13
Mean Girls is a PG-13 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Easy A was written for R and it shows.

Words like ‘shit’ are played for shock value, insults like ‘tramp’ make the notorious ‘right foul git’ attack from Harry Potter 4 look positively vicious, and a supposedly taboo-breaking conversation about bizarre sex practices is rendered pointless by goofy joke euphemisms.

According to Wikipedia, 47 ‘fucks’ were exorcised from the original script, and an alternate version has been shot for the DVD with them reinstated. Make your fucking mind up, Sony.

3

THE ANTAGONIST IS CRAP
Don’t get me wrong, I love Amanda Bynes (She’s The Man FTW) and she’s much more suited to these types of roles than the likeable character she’s so often miscast as, but making your main antagonist an obsessive Jesus-freak also makes her amazingly easy to dismiss.

In short: she’s no Regina George.

4

IT WASTES EMMA STONE
I’ve seen almost all of Emma Stone’s (mostly awful) movies, from The Rocker to The House Bunny to Zombieland. The unifying factor with all of them is how fucking amazing she is, even when given very little to work with. Add Easy A to that category.

Almost everything her character does is completely without motive. Enormous leaps of faith are demanded of the audience, and if there’s one person who could almost get me to make those leaps, it’s Emma Stone.

Almost.

5

IT HAS CAM CUNTING GIGANDET IN IT
To be fair, the producers seem to be aware that Cam Gigandet is the most annoying man on the planet and have disarmingly cast him as an equally annoying character (the old Catherine Zeta-Jones in High Fidelity trick) but nonetheless, he’s in the movie.

6

THE QUALITY OF THE ‘WEBCAM’ FOOTAGE IS UNREALISTIC
I hate to be pedantic (I don’t, I love it) but there are very few webcams in existence that shoot with comparable quality to a professional movie camera. In the film itself, they do at least address the issue by adding a groovy ‘webcam-style’ filter over the picture, but it’s fooling no-one. You hear me? NO-ONE!

7

IT HAS THE MOST BORING MALE LEAD EVER
Even Mean Girls is guilty of this trope, but the love interest in Easy A (played by Penn Badgley – surely the definitive boring male lead?) is especially hateful. Basically, he’s just a very nice guy in every way.

And yes, obviously the reverse situation is much more common in Hollywood and equally insulting, but that doesn’t make it any better.

8

IT DOES THAT ‘FLOATING TITLES’ THING
OK, so that’s actually a still from Panic Room because obviously the title sequence from Easy A isn’t online, but it also serves as a good reminder of the last time anyone was actually impressed by a large piece of three-dimensional text floating in mid-air. Yes, it looks like it’s actually there in the real world, I FUCKING GET IT.

Let’s all move on, shall we?

9

THE ACTUAL ‘EASY A’ BIT IS COMPLETELY THROWAWAY
If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll understand the basic concept. Girl lies about sleeping with boy. Everyone condemns girl. Girl embraces bad reputation by sewing an ‘A’ to her clothing a la The Scarlet Letter.

These scenes are only about ten seconds longer in the movie than they were in the trailer. They literally have no relevance to the rest of the film and seem to exist solely so that Emma Stone can talk irreverently for a bit about the 1995 Demi Moore version of The Scarlet Letter like she’s Mike Stoklasa or something…

10

THE TITLE IS JUST AN INVITATION FOR CRITICS TO MAKE CRAP PUNS
Shame on you Linda Cook of the Quad City Times in Davenport, Iowa. You should know better.