‘Easy A’ (2010) Review

After fibbing to her best friend about hooking up with a college guy, Olive’s reputation takes a dive when the school’s religious student overhears the lie and spreads it around the school. Taking advantage of her notoriety, Olive begins to accept payment in the form of gift cards from boys who want to tell their friends that they slept together. Of course, things start to spiral out of Olive’s control, and her lies begin to affect the people around her as much as her reputation.

Not only is Easy A loosely based on The Scarlet Letter, but it’s also a lovely tribute to John Hughes and the teen comedy movies of the 80s. There are nods to Say Anything…Can’t Buy Me Love, and The Breakfast Club, to name a few. Easy A pays homage to the sex comedies that have come before while also making its own mark on the genre.

It provides some insightful social commentary on the high school hierarchy and the teenage fascination with virginity. Does it really matter if one has actually had sex if they can say they had sex? And, of course, there’s the way Olive is treated versus the way the guys are treated who “use” her. They’re popularized, while Olive is ostracized.

This is one of the movies that I think showcased Emma Stone’s potential as a star. As Olive, she’s sympathetic, relatable, and still funny as hell. I could watch her sing Pocketful of Sunshine all day and laugh the entire time. No lie!

The supporting cast is just as fantastic, especially Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as Olive’s progressive, open-minded parents. Penn Badgley plays Todd, Olive’s longtime crush, and while I wish they had more scenes together to develop their relationship, I still enjoyed what they did have. He’s got Olive’s back, which is something not even her best friend seems able to do. Their blossoming romance was really sweet to watch, and I loved the homage to Can’t Buy Me Love at the end, even if that particular movie isn’t one of my favorites.

Easy A is a very witty, entertaining teen comedy that cleverly balances the laughs with its message. Stone’s charming performance anchors it, and I truly believe this is a movie that John Hughes would have enjoyed himself.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."