American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Easy A" offers an intriguing middle ground to the absolute of sexual abstinence: Don't sleep with anybody, but say you did. It's a funny, engaging comedy that takes the familiar but underrated Emma Stone and makes her, I believe, a star. Until actors are matched to the right role, we can never quite see them clearly.
Stone embodies Olive Penderghast, a girl nobody much notices at East Ojai High School. The biggest surprise about this school (apart from the fact that there is an East Ojai) is that it is scandalous to lose one's virginity in high school. I hesitate to generalize, but I suspect such a thing is not unheard of in East Ojai and elsewhere. I'm not recommending it. I only know what I'm told.
It is a rule with all comedies involving virginity, going back to Doris Day and long before, that enormous misunderstandings are involved and virginity miraculously survives at the end. In this case, Olive is simply embarrassed to admit she spent a whole weekend at home alone, so she improvises a goofy story about having lost her virginity to a college boy. That seems safe; nobody in school would know him. But she's overheard by Marianne (Amanda Bynes), a self-righteous religious type who passes the story round as an object lesson to wayward girls: Don't become a fallen woman like Olive.
"Easy A" takes this misunderstanding and finds effortless comic variations in it. The news is taken with equanimity by Olive's parents, Dill and Rosemary (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson), who join Juno's parents in the Pantheon of Parental Admirability. At East Ojai High, Olive finds that in having lost one reputation, she has gained another. Previously no one noticed her at all (hard to believe about Emma Stone, but there you have it). Now she is imagined to be an experienced and daring adventuress, and it can be deducted that a great many in the student body envy her experience.