Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reviews from the Pad: The Town, Easy A

We now return from our travelogue for a little catch up RftP time.

Directed and staring Ben Affleck, The Town is your basic criminal vs cop caper film that hits all the notes decently enough though doesn't really leave much of a lasting impression. The primary twist on the theme is the replacement of the wife/hooker/general love interest for the criminal lead with the primary victim of their last crime: the female bank manager a member of the crew takes hostage as they flee the scene and then becomes worried that she will come across them and alert the police. So, it falls to Affleck's character to intervene and monitor her in order to try and keep this from happening and/or his partner deciding to kill her instead.

If you like these types of things, it's worth your time but not really special or noteworthy otherwise.

Easy A is less "totally original high school movie" and more the obvious result of a writer who watched a few thousand 80's teen movies/after school specials and went: "that supporting character... you know... the one the whole school thinks is a slut... who teaches the lead something important in act 4 while privately revealing they're not... yeah... that's gonna be my lead..."

While as realistic as one can expect from a comedy about a fake school slut and the consequences of being such when you're aiming for a PG-13 rating (and, lets be honest, if you want the "sad reality" about teens trying to rationalize their peers sex lives - particularly when it involves the unwanted kind - you should probably be over here or here...), the main strengths of the film are both it's lead, Emma Stone, who nails the character and the fact that the script is damned smart; setting up jokes in act one & two that it won't get back to until acts three or four. It's a legitimately funny little movie and good fun but the "originality" here is largely the shift in focus and the films willingness to attack it full bore; everything else follows your teen flick script outline. Given the number of direct references to John Hughes' and John Cusack's cumulative resume of "definitive" 80's teen flicks within the film itself, this isn't surprising for some reason.

That out of the way, good film. Go see it if you need a laugh.

PS: Can "us old folks" stop treating Hughes/Cusack as if they were the only people who've made good Teen flicks? Ever. There's acknowledging your influences, wearing them on your sleeve, and being that "up hill both ways!!!" guy. When you're making a character who's supposed to be in HS in 2010 run off a list of films as the entirety of what she always hoped/thought her relationships/high school experience would be like and every... single.... one... was made the decade before she would have been born and while her parents would've been in college... well, you're starting to push the latter on the old fuddy-duddy meter...

No comments:

Post a Comment