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Easy A

Released

Latest Home Video

Dec 21, 2010

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

93

Director

Will Gluck

Cast

Emma Stone

Penn Badgley

Amanda Bynes

Thomas Haden Church

Patricia Clarkson

Cam Gigandet

Lisa Kudrow

Malcolm MacDowell.

Studio

2010 Sony Screen Gems

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Easy A.

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Reviewed by

OverallC-
ViolenceB-
SexC-
LanguageD+
Drugs/AlcoholC+
Run Time93

Making the Grades

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.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Easy A.

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?

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Coarse and Sexual Language.
AB 14A Language May Offend.
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Sexual Content, Language May Offend.
ON 14A Sexual Content, Language May Offend.
QC G Not recommended for Young Children.
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Easy A...

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

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Memphis Steve says: Sep. 20, 2010

In one scene the main female character punches the main male character in the genitals.

Memphis Steve says: Sep. 20, 2010

How did the punch in the testicles not get mentioned under violence or sexual situations in this review? It was both sexual and violent and in no way appropriate for any family film.

Rod Gustafson says: Sep. 21, 2010

Thank you for posting this. We always debate between too much detail and providing the info our readers want to know. Our content detail has been updated to include this.

musthavecoffee says: Sep. 26, 2010

A grade of C- for this film is simply too good. How can this film be rated PG13? Because of that rating, I allowed my child to go to this film with friends - and am thoroughly regretting that decision. Went to see the film with some girlfriends last night, and was horrified that my child had seen this movie. Particularly offensive was the way they made fun of teens who belong to Christian youth groups (playing off of the stereotype to an extreme), teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, a parent who discusses that she was a “slut” in high school herself then proceeds to demonstrate how high she can get her legs over her head (bragging about being a contortionist during sex) TO HER DAUGHTER.  :^(  But the pinnacle of disgust was definitely the bedroom seen where Olive is pretending to have sex with her gay friend, and they discuss things like the “smells”, spanking, sexual positions, and worse. There were a few moments where I laughed, but the only reason I stayed to watch the film was so that I could see what my child had seen. The film is worse than a C-.

Kerry Bennett says: Oct. 01, 2010

musthavecoffee, thanks for your comment. This is one of those films we spent a lot of time debating the overall grade. I agree that the content in this film is inappropriate in so many ways. The only reason we didn’t give this film a D is because we believe it does have a strong message about the misuse of texts and other communication devices to spread gossip. I think the film does an admirable job of showing just how quickly news can make its way through a school, whether or not it is true.  Hopefully young viewers who do see this film will think twice about forwarding malicious texts that come to their phones.

Fletch247 says: May. 16, 2011

There are so many banal shortcomings to this film it is hard to know where to start.
Why is it so hard for Hollywood to escape the trite and and get mired into standard plot themes. I thought these people were supposed to be the best and the most clever in existence.
The film started out with clever albeit standard teen themed narration by the main character explaining itself. A delightful scene with clever parents that could have developed into a delightful relationship.
The premise had all kinds of potential to deliver a variety of messages.  Instead it devolved into the same old tired Hollyweird themes of the overly buddy parents who are, of course, flawed down to a ridiculous scene with the chlamydia ravaged guidance counselor played by Lisa Kudrow who once again demonstrated her shallowness as an actress and most probably a human being.
Then of course we had the Christian baiting stereotypes for Hollyweirds amusement.
Why is it they just can’t escape these confining themes and keep one whole movie clever and inspiring while demonstrating the human traits of aspiring to reasonable heights. So untalented is it impossible?

PartyOn! says: Jul. 06, 2011

Dear Musthavecoffe,
“How can this film be rated PG13?” Really?? Have you ever listened to a teens conversations with his/her friends. THey curse they call each othe s-l-u-t-s and w-h-o-r-e-s as jokes. I am a 13 year old girl and this movie is so tame compared to some of just the conversations going on in school. THis movie shows real life people pretend to have realionships all the time and all the themes in Easy A are just about growing up. So if you want your child to be picked on for being nieve and living under a rock then ur not letting them grow up. its not fair.

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