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Easy A (DQ)


Stars: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell, Lisa Kudrow, Aly Michalka, Thomas Haden Church, Cam Gigandet, Dan Byrd, Jessica Jann

Director: Will Gluck

A new comedy star looms in the likeable person of husky-voiced Emma Stone, who comes on like a young Kirstie Alley in this on-and-off-funny college comedy, with some lovely lines amid the more formula stuff.

Emma is Olive Penderghast, a general nonentity who loses all that when she invents a boyfriend then lies to her best pal (Michalka) about having sex with him. One thing leads to another, and in no time at all Olive has become the slut of the school, wearing a red 'A' badge like the heroine of the book her class is reading, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.

Fortunately she has a marvellously joky relationship with her off-the-wall but loving parents (Tucci, Clarkson). He says stuff like: '...even when a man and a woman love each other very much - like your mother and I used to' or (to his adopted black son): 'Where are you from originally?'

Also on the roster are McDowell as the head teacher ('This is public school. As long as I can keep the girls off the pole and the boys off the pipe...'), Bynes as the Christian leader horrified by Olive's antics, and Kudrow, who has a rather negative role as a permissive guidance counsellor.

Apparently, the school only has one gay pupil (Byrd), so Olive helps him appear straight. And when it gets around that Olive is offering sex for money, she is soon swamped with increasingly bizarre offers.

Stone has fun with her role, although she seems almost too mature, as do Tucci and Clarkson as her well-scripted parents. In the end, it's not quite original nor quirky enough - but better than most college frolics and that's for sure.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Sony (Screen Gems). Colour by Colorworks.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Oct 2010