September 2010 Reviews
By Shawn McKenzie 9/17/2010
Here are my reviews of the movies that were released in September of 2010. Check back later as the month progresses for more reviews.
Go directly to my review of Easy A.
Seventeen-year-old Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) was a high school nobody. She was a good girl who had loving but odd parents in Dill (Stanley Tucci) and Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson), but was virtually unknown by the rest of her peers…other than her more promiscuous best friend Rhiannon Abernathy (Aly Michalka.) One weekend, she makes an excuse to Rhiannon why she can’t go camping with her and her weird parents (Morgan Rusler and Nicki Tyler-Flynn) by saying that she was going out with a university student named George. After spending the weekend listening to a card from her grandma that plays “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield (you would have to see the scene for yourself), she tells Rhiannon that she lost her virginity to George over the weekend to get her friend to stop pestering her about the date. Olive’s ultra-religious classmate Marianne (Amanda Bynes) overhears this conversation and tells her boyfriend Micah (Cam Gigandet), her friend Nina (Mahaley Hessam), and others that Olive lost her “V-card.” Olive notices the attention she now receives…and she likes it. Her closeted gay friend Brandon (Dan Byrd) asks her to pretend to have sex with him so that he won’t be picked on anymore at school. She agrees, and the two pretend to have sex loudly in a room at a keg party in popular girl Melody Bostic’s (Johanna Braddy) house. Soon Brandon is popular, and he tells a fat kid named Evan (Jameson Moss), who tells other unpopular guys, and soon they all want to pay Olive (usually in the form of gift cards) to have fake-sex with them in order to achieve the same popularity. School mascot Woodchuck Todd (Penn Badgley)…a guy Olive has had a crush on since the two played “7 Minutes in Heaven” at an eighth grade party who Olive pretended that they were making out…doesn’t believe that Olive is the school harlot. One day in English teacher Mr. Griffith’s (Thomas Haden Church) class while he was teaching his students The Scarlet Letter, Olive calls Nina an offensive word, and she is sent to Principal Gibbons’ (Malcolm McDowell) office for detention and told to see guidance counselor Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow)…who happens to be Mr. Griffith’s unfaithful wife. Marianne and her minions want Olive kicked out of school, but she decides to take a page from The Scarlet Letter and be a modern-day Hester Prynne with pride…including wearing her own letter “A” on her shirts. Her decision to be a fake ho damages her friendship with Rhiannon though, who decides to side with Marianne. Will Gluck, whose debut movie Fired Up! in 2009 was funny in my opinion (even though it did terribly critically and financially), directed this movie as well. He took Bert V. Royal’s debut screenplay and his ensemble cast and made one of the funniest movies of the year. It’s reminiscent of a surge of teen comedy remakes of classic literature by Jane Austen and William Shakespeare that has come out in the last 25 years (1985’s Just One of the Guys, 1995’s Clueless, 1999’s 10 Things I Hate About You, 2001’s Get Over It, 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2006’s She’s the Man.) I guess it’s now Nathaniel Hawthorne’s turn. Twenty-year-old (at the time that she filmed it) Stone is a real find here. I’ve seen her in funny movies like 2007’s Superbad, 2008’s The House Bunny, and 2009’s Zombieland…but this is the movie that I think will propel her to celebrity status. Her movie parents, Tucci and Clarkson, are highlights every time they are onscreen. All of the supporting cast were hilarious as well…including Bynes, who I thought played her character perfectly (I realize that she was doing the same character that Mandy Moore did in 2004’s Saved!, but it doesn’t matter to me.) Gluck has Stone appearing in his next movie, Friends with Benefits, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing that. For now…I’m giving this one an “A” (or at least 5 stars.)
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