Olive is your average high school girl dealing with an average high school problem. Feeling like an outcast, she has stayed hidden in public. All that changes after her friend makes an odd request to gain social popularity, to have sex with him. When she agrees to fake it at a party, everything changes the next day at school. She embraces her newfound attention, changes her whole image and comes face to face with the judgments from everyone. As the lies continue to spiral out of control, Olive must find a way to restore her good name and try to recover a crush on the one guy who appreciates her for who she is.
Starring: Emma Stone (Olive), Penn Badgley (Woodchuck Todd), Amanda Bynes (Marianne), Dan Byrd (Brandon), Thomas Haden Church (Mr. Griffith), Patricia Clarkson (Rosemary), Cam Gigandet (Micah), Lisa Kudrow (Mrs. Griffith), Malcolm McDowell (Principal Gibbons), Aly Michalka (Rhiannon), Stanley Tucci (Dill), Fred Armisen (Pastor)
Emma Stone is a very bright, rising star who skyrocketed her respect through the role of Olive. She exhibits a great sense of timing when delivering lines and jokes and just finds a way to steal every scene she is in. She had great chemistry especially in scenes with her family. Speaking of her family, her parents were played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. Similar to her excellent delivery, both parents seem to have great chemistry and just provide a light, fun presence in every scene, representing the more “hip” parents that seem more like friends than parental figures. Amanda Bynes serves the role (similar to Mandy Moore in Saved!) as the pious, judging Christian student. While she is a bit over the top, it adds to the humor of her character.
On the surface, this is another teen comedy dealing with sex and love. The difference is that there is no actual sex in the movie and it takes a much more direct focus on the concept of the rumor mill and judging atmosphere of high school. Other teen comedies look at similar issues, but those movies also fail to develop the dialogue this film contains. Bert Royal dialed up a combination of modern references and witty commentary to provide a strong base for the actors to bring to life on-screen. It is tough to not find at least some enjoyable moments, especially with Emma’s lovable presence.
I honestly would put this in the top tier of teen movies and would guess that it will still be in conversation years from now.
Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5