Watching: 2 Great Literary Adaptations

… that are also a lot of fun.

By The Watching Team

Dear Watchers,

We know your watching time is limited. And the amount of things available to watch … is not. Looking for a movie? Nearly any movie ever made? It’s probably streaming somewhere. That’s a lot of movies.

Below, we’re recommending two of them, the latest of our weekly double-feature recommendations based on the movies we think will pair well — with each other and with you.

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Your weekly double feature: Off the syllabus

Emma Stone in “Easy A.”Adam Taylor/Screen Gems

‘Easy A’ and ‘10 Things I Hate About You’

There are plenty of literary adaptations for teens given to snoozing during their English classes, but some of the more inspired riffs won’t help them bluff their way through an exam.

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Now streaming on Netflix, “Easy A” actually focuses on a teenager who did do the reading and tries to apply what she learned to help some students in need. In her breakthrough role, Emma Stone brings high energy, sardonic wit and a little musicality to the role of a virginal high school outcast who accidentally gets a reputation for sleeping around and decides to steer into the skid. Slapping the “A” from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” on her newly provocative wardrobe, she manipulates the school’s rumor mill to benefit other pariahs, even if she damages her own standing in the process.

Two more young performers, Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, also leaned on the classics for their breakthrough rom-com “10 Things I Hate About You.” A goof on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” the film casts Stiles as Kat, an antisocial “shrew” whose pretty, popular younger sister (Larisa Oleynik) isn’t allowed to date until Kat does. Ledger plays the rebel who eventually breaks down Kat’s defenses — his stadium P.A. rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” with school band accompaniment, is undoubtedly the movie’s most enduring moment. And the film is brimming with fun winks to Shakespeare and wry supporting turns by Larry Miller, David Krumholtz and Allison Janney. — Scott Tobias

Stream “Easy A” on Netflix. Rent it on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube.

Stream “10 Things I Hate About You” on Disney +. Rent it on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu.

EXTRA-CREDIT READING

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