Easy A (2010)

easy a IMDb

This was the film that introduced me to Emma Stone. There is just something about her that I find irresistible. This movie showcases her talents more than any other I’ve seen her in. She is able to be hilarious, but beautiful too. The biggest problem I had with this film was how unrealistic it would have been that guys took no notice if Stone’s character at the beginning of the film. If someone that looked like Emma Stone went to my high school, I can guarantee you she’d be getting a lot of attention from horny high school boys.

I really like this film, I’d put it up there with Clueless and Mean Girls as the best teen comedies I’ve seen. I know that’s a big call, but it is warranted. Easy A follows Olive (Stone), a high school girl largely ignored by her fellow students, until of course she inadvertently starts a rumour that she lost her virginity. The whole story was created so she didn’t have to spend the weekend with her best friend (Aly Michalka) and her nudist parents, but once it started, the whole school knew in minutes. Olive decides to go along with this rumour and try and help out some young high school boys while she does. Eventually the fake rumour starts causing her more problems than it is worth, but it is difficult to stop something once it has entered public knowledge, even if it happens to not be true. I’m sure many celebrities would agree with this. There are plenty of people who think Richard Gere does inappropriate things with gerbils or that Jamie Lee Curtis was born a hermaphrodite. The fact these stories may or may not be true is irrelevant once enough people know about it.

Emma Stone carries this film so well. She is front and centre for nearly every scene and does a terrific job as the possibly whorish Olive. She has fantastic comedic timing, which I wish she’d use more. The last few things I’ve seen her in are the new Spider-Man films or dramas. I’d love to see her being funny again because she is so good at it. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson also star in this film as Olive’s parents. Tucci is a joy, I love him in this film and he steals every scene he is in. After this movie and his turn as Ceaser Flickerman in The Hunger Games films, he is quickly becoming one of more favourite character actors going around. I also should mention the terrific soundtrack. Easy A is filled with catchy indie rock tunes that I really enjoyed. There is a Natasha Bedingfield song that will always stuck in my head for days every time I watch this film.

This is a funny movie carried really well by the gorgeous Emma Stone. Easy A announced her as a star and would not look out of place in any teen movie marathon you might be planning.

Rating: A-

For me there are really only three teen films that everyone should see: Clueless, Mean Girls, and Easy A. These are some of the smartest, funniest comedies of the past 20 years. All three should be mandatory viewing in schools– after reading the books which inspired them, of course.

Easy A is a modern take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. This aspect lead me to dismiss the movie before I saw it, because I found the book incredibly boring. Of course, I tried reading this on my own for fun (yeah, I’m that person), and without people to thoughtfully discuss the story with I just couldn’t get into it. This doesn’t mean that Hawthorne’s story of morality and conformity isn’t valuable reading, I just found it much easier to relate to through this contemporary film interpretation.

This is the story of Olive Penderghast, a high school student who gets good grades but mostly flies under the radar due to her lack of popularity and tiny social circle. Then Olive tells a little white lie to her best friend– that she lost her virginity to a college guy– and suddenly finds herself the center of attention. The gossip mill goes into overdrive, and Olive decides to exploit her newfound notoriety for financial gain. She allows unpopular guys to say they’ve had sexual trysts with her in exchange for gift cards. While the popularity of the guys she has helped rises, her own reputation continues to sink. She eventually becomes the focus of the school’s uber-Christian youth group, who vow to have her expelled for being a floozy.

Obviously Easy A differs a great deal from The Scarlet Letter, but the basic themes are the same. Both characters rebel against society’s standards, but I prefer Olive’s in your face protest to Hester’s quiet isolation. The character’s differing approaches reflect how far women have come since 1850 when Hawthorne’s book was first published, yet in some ways very little has changed for the gender. Female sexuality is still not accepted or praised the way it is for men, and the people policing women’s morality are most often other women.

It’s a sad truth that religious extremism is still alive and well in America, making this adaptation just as relevant today as it was 160-odd years ago. The women may be more outspoken, but they are still facing heavy criticism for speaking their minds.

Rating: A

One thought on “Easy A (2010)

  1. Pingback: Mean Girls (2004) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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