Easy A and 80s Movie References

80s references, Emma Stone and Stanley Tucci.

All good things in my book.  What am I talking about?  The movie Easy A.

I just saw itand I must say it was enjoyable.   I know I’m just catching up to what others have already enjoyed (or not) as Easy A was in theatres a while ago and has been out on DVD for almost two months, but I just got my hands on it at the library (a great place for DVDs if your not in a hurry – got to love the library).

This isn’t a movie review in it’s regular sense.  It’s really about how much I enjoyed the 80s/John Hughes movie references  made in this film.  First off, it’s interesting that a movie about current 17 year olds would reference 80s movies.  I don’t know many kids born in the 90s that have enjoyed movies of the 80s.  I even have a friend in her mid-20s that I told to watch the John Hughes movies and she was too annoyed with the characters in The Breakfast Club to enjoy the film at all.  WHAT?  This I don’t get.  But I guess this is the same as me not getting the hype about Justin Bieber, I’m not 12 years old after all.  And my friend who didn’t like The Breakfast Club didn’t fall in love with the movie the way I did because that was what we dreamed our lives would be like in the 80s compared to how things changed for the kids of the 90s/00s.

Emma Stone’s (hilarious) character, Olive, is obviously mature beyond her years as she references the great films of the 80s.  Most of them brought to us from the great John Hughes, who understood us better than we did ourselves.  She makes references of how as girl she wants a guy to make a gesture like a Llyod Dobler (John Cusack) in Say Anything or John Bender (Judd Nelson) in The Breakfast Club or a Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey – years before McDreamy) in Can’t Buy Me Love.  Or my (and many women out there) all time favourite, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) in Sixteen Candles.  But, I think that Olive says it best: “I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window.  I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey.  I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me.  I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me.  Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a… really awesome musical number for no apparent reason.  But no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”  Exactly Olive, that’s how we all feel or dream.

There are many of us 80s girls, married or single, who still dream about any of those moments still happening to us today.  That ultimate moment, which I still dream of, when the right guy is there waiting for you with the red Porsche ready to whisk you away to perfection.  Come on girls, we are waiting for our Jake Ryan moment.  Aren’t I right?

Easy A also has some great subtle references to the John Hughes movies, but the one I noticed and really appreciated was a moment between Olive and Todd (the guy she really likes) in the car, as they hugged.  On the radio, was the same song that was playing when Sam and Jake finally kissed in Sixteen Candles.  And there was the obvious moment at the end with reference to events in Can’t Buy Me Love, Say Anything and The Breakfast Club.

I know the movie is about life as a 17 year old in high school, but the 80s references, the sarcastic acting of Emma Stone, the hilarious parents of Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson and the always funny Thomas Haden Church really make this one a good for the children of the 80s.

Just a closing note, when it comes to 80s movies and dreaming of them coming true we only dream, we understand the reality of life.  Our Jake Ryan isn’t out there.  Actually, I  hear that he’s a carpenter in New England now.  It’s fun to dream though.

© 2011, Anne-Marie. All rights reserved.