If the reviews are any indication the best thing about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the chemistry between its two leads, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Stone, for her part, has been doing the challenging work of elevating iffy material for years now.
Stone is an interesting breed of movie star. She's a genuine talent, who is beloved off-screen as well, her goofiness translating easily into internet ephemera. But while she and Jennifer Lawrence have that in common—they give good GIF—Stone, a more inherently comedic actress, hasn't yet made a movie that has lived up to her talents in every way possible. And since starting the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, she hasn't been seen in anything else of note. In a summer movie preview, Vulture's Kyle Buchanan wrote that she's had a "rough time of it." Stone has some things cooking, however, that might give her career the jolt it needs.
Emma Stone got her first credited role, a pilot called The New Partridge Family, via reality show. She then had a couple of TV roles—stints on Malcolm in The Middle and Lucky Louie, as well as Tim Minear's short-lived but well-cast Drive—but everyone took notice along with Jonah Hill in Superbad. Stone was effortlessly cool as Hill's love interest, Jules, the girl throwing the party that inspires the entirety of the movie's antics. The role could have easily been thankless, but Stone was always able to seem like more than the typical hot girl. She followed that up with some roles in less memorable movies: The Rocker, for one; The House Bunny, for another. It wasn't until quirky horror comedy Zombieland in 2009 that she found another role that gave her a lot to work with and a chance to showcase her clearly outsized personality.
Easy A was a good choice for Stone. A low stakes romantic comedy with a twist, and she was front and center. While the movie got mostly good reviews and did admirably at the box office, its most significant contribution to the Emma Stone canon comes in GIF form. Specifically, this GIF:
Yes, this is the movie that made Emma Stone an Internet hero—she knows this to be true—and it didn't hurt that she added her first SNL hosting gig to her resume that same fall. Her big followup to Easy A—we're not counting what was essentially a cameo in the Timberlake-Kunis rom-com Friends With Benefits—was Crazy, Stupid, Love, featuring none other than Internet obsession, Ryan Gosling.