x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Easy A

This teen movie, based on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, is a confused affair but has features an excellent performance from Emma Stone.

Director: Will Gluck
Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley

***

When it comes to teen films loosely based on classic novels, Hollywood has been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. Several - think Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Cruel Intentions - have hit the nail on the head, but Easy A, which is based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, is a confused affair, the comic overtone unable to gloss over the unpleasant theme of the film.

The soon-to-become A-list actress Emma Stone stars as Olive Penderghast, an unassuming and highly intelligent high schooler who adopts a more brazen persona after a false rumour is spread about her.

Inspired by the book she is currently reading in English - The Scarlet Letter - Penderghast adds fuel to the fire by feeding into the lie, going so far as to publicly adorn all her new clothes with the letter "A".

But when things inevitably get out of control and people start to get hurt, the misguided teenager has to address her problems and reveal the truth - a situation made all the more difficult by her "new" personality.

Stone is perfectly cast in the lead role, and well deserved the Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical which she lost to Annette Bening earlier this year.

But despite her star turn, and the occasional golden moment - Penderghast's parents, although unbelievably unrealistic, provide much of the film's humour - the overall theme doesn't resonate and could leave you feeling slightly uneasy.