Alright. So, this movie. I have a hard time knowing what to feel about it.
On the one hand:
+There are some really great preformances; Emma Stone is a fantastic leading lady, the kid who plays Brandon is great and Malcolm McDowell has a hilarious scene.
+It’s kind of nice to see the typical ’80s “get the girl” movie gender-swapped for a change.
+It has a non-judgmental sex positive message, which we can always use more of.
+It is charming, and some of the self-referential ’80s teen movie jokes are fun.
On the other hand:
-This is a comedy that is not really funny. I laughed maybe four times through the whole thing, and they were good laughs, but in a 93 minute film that is an awful laughs-per-minute count.
-That is the least convincing public high school of all time and Olive and her friend arethe least convincing unpopular girls of all time and that is saying something considering this genre basically breathes unconvincingly unpopular people as oxygen.
-The cinematography has this really nasty, glossy sheen that makes the whole thing feel that much more removed from any kind of legitimate teenage experience.
-Every scene that isn’t focused around Olive or Olive and Brandon is a complete catastrophe; the Jesus-freak kids are a bland, obvious cadre of walking (cheap) punchlines and every time her parents show up the words “DIE YUPPIE SCUM” keep flashing through my head, which leads to the next point, which is
-It’s very hard to care that much about the problems of kids who probably have allowances as big as most of the audience members’ paychecks.
-It is overly self-aware(we get it, you’re a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter. We get it. WE GET IT), and many of the self-referential ’80s teen movie jokes get pretty grating.
I feel like this was a missed opportunity. I’m glad we have a movie that deals with teenage sex in a non-judgmental way; I just wish that said movie was funnier, more honest, and had a more thoughtful approach.