Channel 4: Saturday 28 November, 12:15am
When highschool wallflower Emma Stone lies to blabbermouth Aly Michalka about losing her virginity, it’s immediately the talk of the corridors. Bemused by the attention she’s getting, Emma – who’s studying The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s skewering of scandal – deliberately plays up to the rumor mill, talking more nonsense than Ellen Page’s Juno. Will Gluck’s previous comedy was Fired Up! and this is just as wilfully self-conscious – there’s far too much metaphorical high-fiving going on.
And that whole Hawthorne thing is shoehorned into the story. Wearing a scarlet A on her clothes doesn’t really work, does it? She’s a virgin schoolgirl who’s pretending to be a tramp. How does adultery apply? Or is it for assumptions? She says it’s for awesome. As for the school, Ojai North, all its students are apparently virgins, judgmental Jesus freaks or Glee-fully gay.
The faculty’s not much better. Everybody acts outright flaky, even for California. Compared to the benchmark highscool comedies, the genuinely witty Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Clueless, Mean Girls and 10 Things I Hate About You, Easy A’s an F. As Griff Rhys-Jones said on Not the Nine o’Clock News’ version of University Challenge: “Nobody likes a clever-dick.”