Easy A Review

About a billion one liners, a thousand allusions and a dozen needless characters make up “Easy A,” yet the film still somehow manages to lack a substantial plot.

The story, high school student Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) gains a reputation as the school slut when she lies to her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) about a losing her virginity to a fictional college freshman, seems like it has potential to be, if not a classic, a cute romantic comedy. When Olive agrees to help out a bullied friend by pretending to sleep with him, her image is tainted even further, but instead of coming clean she “helps” more of her classmates and her lies continue to escalate.

The audience is asked to believe that a gorgeous, funny and intelligent girl has such low self-worth that she would go so far as to ruin her reputation for gift cards and negative attention. It’s a little far fetched.

As the film progresses, each new character becomes more unbelievable. All the adults seem carefree, sarcastic and on the verge of losing touch with reality, with the exception of Olive’s favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Hayden Church). Mr. Griffith is the only character that has depth and an emotional scale that reaches past smarmy. The rest of the actors are only there for laughs.

Half of the cast would have been sufficient to get the story across well, but it seemed that the film was grasping at straws to make the audience laugh. Olive has an adopted black brother whose entire purpose in the movie was to be the punchline of a single joke; parents of unimportant characters were introduced for the sake of a shock factor.

The movie also tries far too hard to match up Olive’s experiences with that of Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter. Every five minutes the audience is reminded that, yes, the movie is based extremely loosely on the book, and yes, Olive is supposed to represent a modern day Hester and, look, there’s an event that is similar to a scene from the book. Instead of subtly hinting at the film’s literary origins, the movie bashes the Scarlet Letter references over our heads.

The film, however, did have a few redeeming qualities.

Halfway through the movie Olive reveals that she wants her life to be written by John Hughes, the legendary director of ‘80s fame. By paying homage to the iconic director, the movie gains quite a few brownie points. Although Hughes is probably turning over in his grave for being accredited with inspiring this movie, Olive’s dream of being swept off her feet by Judd Nelson/Patrick Dempsey/Michael Schoeffling is heartwarming. Every girl wishes she could have been Molly Ringwald at some point.

“Easy A” put too much effort into being funny and lacked any basic background info on why anyone should care about these characters. The audience never got to know any of the individuals well enough to become invested in the plot. Although it was a cute movie, it lacked substance.

Hayley Battenberg
Courtesy of teaser-trailer.com