Easy A parents guide

Easy A Parent Guide

Despite the script's obsession with the sexual exploits of teens, STDs and frank terms for intimacy, no overt sexual activities are portrayed on screen.

Overall C-

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) is rumored to be an "easy woman." But in truth the teen is only pretending to be sleeping with her male classmates to improve their reputations. When she also begins studying The Scarlet Letter in her English class, she can't help noticing similarities between herself and the main character.

Release date September 17, 2010

Violence B-
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D+
Substance Use C+

Why is Easy A rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Easy A PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material.

Run Time: 93 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) envisions herself as a modern day Hester Prynne (the adulterous character from the classic English novel The Scarlet Letter) after she lies about her sexual activities on the weekend. Needled for details by her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka), the quiet wallflower eventually makes up a story about losing her virginity to a nameless college boy. In the time it takes to text or tweet, the news rips through the school and makes the previously unnoticed girl the subject of a lot of attention.

All the interest in Olive’s promiscuity seems excessive since most teen films would have viewers believe "everyone is doing it." Still she becomes the object of scorn from a group of religious fanatics at the school. Their leader is a girl (Amanda Bynes) intent on saving the sinner. (While the script condemns the idea of judging others, it does nothing to negate the negative stereotype of Christians portrayed in this film.)

Like most lies, one leads to another and soon Olive finds herself a new occupation. It may not be the oldest profession known to women, but it is close. Before long, she is approached by a number of boys, including her gay friend Brandon (Dan Byrd), who are willing to pay her to say she had intimate relationships with them, even though she hasn’t. Supposedly sleeping with a girl of her reputation will improve their own standing with their classmates and increase their chances of getting some real action.

Taking her cues from the maligned Hester who embroidered a scarlet "A" on her dresses as a sign of shame, Olive ditches her regular school clothes in favor of lacy corsets and other bedroom attire on which she sews her own red letters. Olive’s sexually liberal parents (Stan Tucci, Patricia Clarkson) don’t seem overly concerned about their daughter’s change of apparel. (While they think she dresses like a stripper, they’re happy she looks like a high-end one, the type who services men of means and status. Her mother also hopes Olive will become pregnant so that she and her husband can raise the child.)

But though Olive’s willingness to endure a besmirched character is supposedly the result of her empathy for other outcasts in her class, she eventually realizes the personal costs—both in healthy relationships with her peers (Penn Badgley) and in her standing with the adults she admires.

Despite the script’s obsession with the sexual exploits of teens, STDs and frank terms for intimacy, no overt sexual activities are portrayed on screen. Still there are some faked sexual sounds, brief unwanted attempts at kissing, the discussion of an inappropriate teacher/student relationship, cuddling between a homosexual couple and brief nudity in a nonsexual situation.

The movie also addresses a form of public humiliation that even Hester wasn’t subjected to. In the world of social networking and instant messaging, nothing remains private for long. And Olive’s inability to control the dissemination of rumors (which are highly enhanced and exaggerated with each telling) is something parents might want to address with their own children. Even Olive’s favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church) questions the narcissistic need of people to post every detail of life on the Internet—because, in reality, there is nothing easy about ridding one’s records of this kind of A.

Directed by Will Gluck. Starring Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm MacDowell.. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release September 17, 2010. Updated

Easy A
Rating & Content Info

Why is Easy A rated PG-13? Easy A is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material.

Violence: Characters are slapped. A teen boy is punched in the groin.

Sexual Content: A girl is shown showering—her shoulders are seen. A woman’s bare breast is partially seen in another nonsexual situation. Characters wear low cut tops and suggestive clothing. One girl prides herself on her nickname, which refers to her breast size. Frequent discussions about sexual activity and positions are included in the script. A teen couple makes crude sounds while pretending to have sex. A teen boy attempts to forcefully kiss a girl. A teen homosexual character talks about being bullied. Later he is shown cuddling with a partner. A teacher confesses to inappropriate sexual activities with a student. A teen girl receives a sex toy as a present. A teacher gives condoms to a student.

Language: Numerous frank terms for sexual activity and crude names for body parts are used in addition to a couple of strong, slang terms for sex. Dozens of scatological slang terms and profanities are also included along with terms of Deity, some slurs and crude names for women.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Teens smoke on campus before a teacher confiscates their cigarettes. Teens pretend to be drunk at a party. Brief references are made to illegal drug use by teens and adults.

Other: A character repeatedly lies. Students make comments about being bullied. A teacher screams at and threatens a student. Negative depictions of religious characters are included. Gossip is spread about a character.

Page last updated

More parents' guide for Easy A after the break...

Easy A Parents' Guide

What dangers of instant messaging are depicted in this movie? How can a person’s inability to control information on the web impact his or her reputation? What measures can an individual take to protect his or her privacy on social networking sites?

This film contains several plot holes. For instance, why should the student body even care about Olive’s sexual activities with an unknown boy? Would the students’ scorn be more justifiable if she had sex with someone in their school (possibly the boyfriend of a cheerleader or other popular student)? If this is the reaction of the students to one of their peers, why are other girls supposedly eager to sleep with boys that Olive has been with? In this movie, why is there a different standard for boys and girls when it comes to sexual activity? Does this apply in reality?

How does popularity differ from infamy?

p>The Scarlet Letter , which is referenced in this film, is a classic novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The work of writer Sylvia Plath, known for advancing confessional style poetry, is also mentioned in the movie. How does her style of writing compare with material that is posted on personal blogs and websites today?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Easy A movie is December 21, 2010. Here are some details…

Easy A releases to DVD and Blu-ray on December 21. Extras features include:

Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Material:

- Commentary with Director Will Gluck and Emma Stone

- Gag Reel

- Emma Stone’s Audition Footage

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Material

- movieIQ+sync and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie

- Extra Credit: Pop-Up Trivia Track

-  The Making of Easy A

- The School of Pop Culture: Movies of the Eighties

-  Vocabulary of Hilarity

Related home video titles:

Although most of these actors are well past their teens, many of them play underage characters in other movies as well. Dan Byrd who plays Brandon has a role in A Cinderella Story. Amanda Bynes stars as a girl pretending to be a boy in She’s The Man.

Stanley Tucci plays a presidential campaign manager who tries to persuade a young teen to have her father pick his candidate in Swing Vote.