By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
A high school girl decides to use the rumor mill to her social advantage, transforming her image from boring smart girl to the school slut.
A toast to the writing, first off. The dialogue is snappy and sometimes hilarious and the allusions require a bit of smarts, but in a good way.
Also, the plot is inspired by The Scarlet Letter, which isn’t your conventional choice and deserves points for the attempt. The character actors such as Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, and Stanley Tucci combine the one-liners with some dramatic flair, especially in Kudrow’s case in a pivotal confrontation scene. Oh, and you can’t go too wrong with Emma Stone…
This is a two-fer. A few minutes in you may have the feeling you’ve seen this before…
… but since those movies were good, you can’t complain too much. Also, the movie seems to develop a nervous tic at times, including a scene where you’re wondering if the writer’s keyboard’s ‘t’ key got stuck. Note to screenwriter… this is not comedy.
One of the best parts of the film and what makes it so effective is its commitment to fully developing even supporting characters instead of leaning on lame high school movie stereotypes. So, it’s a bit of a disappointment when some of its most plot-driving characters, the “Christians”, are written like D.W. Griffith wrote African Americans.
Note #2 to screenwriter… transparent use of broad, uninformed stereotypes is not the way to get a point across.
Or is it?
This is still the best high school comedy since Mean Girls.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time some variation of “slut” is used
Take a drink: for every reference to The Scarlet Letter
Drink a shot: for every lazy, transparent stab at any specific religion