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Easy A: Prepare to be Besmirched (2010)

Everyone remembers high school right? The bus rides or car rides, if you were lucky. The awful smell of the locker room, especially in the guys’ area after sweating all through-out gym class. The lunch; sometimes it looked it like it might have moved when you weren’t looking. Of course the popular and unpopular people and how the latter were relentlessly ridiculed without remorse. But the thing that probably drove high school the most were the random rumors. Some true, most of them more false than the idea that I can dunk a basketball. Gossip pretty much made or broke reputations during those four years and it wasn’t always a good thing. Director Will Gluck chooses up-and-comer Emma Stone to help him tell a story of how far tall tales can grow.

Stone plays Olive, a 17-year old girl who flies pretty under the popularity radar when it comes to school. Her best friend, Rhiannon (Aly Michalka), is constantly going on and on about how Olive hasn’t done anything with a guy yet. So in order to get out of going on a camping trip with her friend and her parents, she makes up a lie about having a date. This false date is with a false older college guy which leads to her having some very false sex with him in an attempt to get Rhiannon to stop pestering her about it. Unfortunately this untruth is overheard by the school Jesus-lover, Marianne (Amanda Bynes). Marianne quickly scolds her for being a “whore” and initiates the spread of this fiction story all over their high school.

As word spreads fast and I do mean fast, a once almost never heard of Olive is now the school’s most notorious skank. Things get utterly worse when she decides to help a friend of the picked on homosexual community develop a surprise reputation of being straight by pretending to sleep with him. After purposely letting this piece of news also spread around school, her name is pretty much unanimous with that of an under-aged prostitute. Pretty soon every less than popular guy in school is paying her (with mostly gift cards) to fake sleep with them so they too can lead relatively normal lives. Along the way, a religious mob lead by Marianne begins a protest against her, drama develops between her and her best friend and she begins to lose a grip on her used-to-be normal life.

I’ve liked Emma Stone ever since Superbad. She takes a head butt like a champ. She was also nice to look at in Zombieland. She shines in Easy A finally starring in a lead role. Her character oozes with a personality of sarcasm and funny right from the get-go that draws the audience in. Her parents played by Stanley Tucci & Patricia Clarkson portray the same witty humor so you are able to see where she gets it from. Their family is very loose and very fun in an unorthodox sort of way. It’s a treat seeing Olive handle certain situations that her new found fame brings her way. The one liners that she delivers in retribution to some of her “besmirchers” will leave you laughing or saying a very loud “Oh, nice one!”.

Apparently the screenplay written by Bert V. Royal, except for the final ten pages, was written in just five days. Gluck does a good job of portraying the evil’s and wild occurrences that actually happen in high school. This take on the very sensitive and no longer secret issue of young people having sex (or pretending to) and paying the consequences is a nice change from the very serious norm.

Some scenes from the film begin to run a little dry as if they should have been cut down a little or taken out completely. But then a nice shot of drama is unexpectedly inserted into the story to add a little something to it. It might catch some by surprise, I know I was.

I liked the references to 80’s teen movies as well as how the classic story of The Scarlet Letter is incorporated into Olive’s life. She uses her study of it to her advantage when she embroide's a red “A” onto her new sexy wardrobe to complete her made up slutty image.

A couple of other actors make nice additions like Lisa Kudrow, who plays the school guidance counselor and Thomas Haden Church, Olive’s favorite teacher. I wasn’t really expecting to like this movie as much as I did but it was an interestingly funny look at what some kids will do to make a name for themselves. I give Easy A “4 make-believe orgasms out of 5”.

“Notoriety for whatever reason never seems to benefit the noted; it’s only the notee’s”


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