Generally society frowns on girls who have a reputation of sleeping around; however, the movie Easy A takes this ethical code and turns it into a frothy and funny comedy. The movie was released in 2010 and was appreciated and liked by audience all over the world. The plot of the movie has so many twists and turns that sometimes it becomes very difficult to follow what is happening, but the main character of Olive, played by Emma Stone, binds the while circus together. Olive’s character is pivotal to the whole plot.
The plot revolves around the life of High School boys and girls and their beliefs, the influence of peer pressure on their behaviour and their antics. It is not easy to follow the plot, but generally it highlights the way some school students are pressurized to fit in the contemporary stereotypes profiles. The story starts with a little white lie told by Olive, a high school student who had a very low profile in the school, to her best friend Rhianon, who wanted her to come with her for a camping trip. In order not to hurt her feelings Olive tells her that she had a good time with a college student on the weekend. The truth was that she was alone the whole weekend in her house. Unfortunately, this was heard by Marianna, a devote Christian who immediately spread the gossip that Olive had sex with a boy. She immediately starts a campaign against Olive, calling her a scarlet woman, and saying that she should be pushed out from the company of decent people.
Olive’s one lie makes her famous in the school and the boys who did not look at her in the past, now become interested in her. Olive decides to embrace her new persona, she starts wearing bold clothes with a big letter A in red stitched on her clothes. On one hand Marianna and her group joined by Rhianon wants to drive Olive away from the school, on the other hand boys want Olive to become their girl friend. Olive confides in her friend Brandon who asks her to pretend to make love to him to improve his reputation with the boys, who think that he is a gay. After Olive pretends to make love to Brandon, she decides to improve the reputation of other boys who are considered misfits and weak by pretending to have sex with them.
The charade at one juncture even involves Olive’s teacher and his wife when a boy who had relationship with the teacher’s wife tells everyone that he had sex with Olive. Olive reconnects with her ex boyfriend who tells her that he does not believe in the gossip about her. Finally Olive gets tired of this charade and decides to put an end to the lie by asking everyone who she had helped to tell the truth, but the boys refuse. Eventually she decides to use the occasion of school prep rally to tell the truth. She draws attention of the crowd towards her web cast, in which she tells the whole story. In the end she goes away with Todd, but before she rides off on a lawn mower with him she tells them that what happens between Todd and her is not their concern. The lawn mower is a nice comical touch, instead of hero coming on a white horse and sweeping away the girl he loves, in this modern version the hero drives a lawn mower and takes away the object of his love on a lawn mower. Another significant touch is the introduction of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, ‘Scarlet Letter’ in which the heroine was forced to wear a red letter A because she was considered an adulterous by the society. Olive and her classmates were reading the novel when the modern saga of misguided love opens.
The movie is funny, hilarious and at times unbelievable. The action and plot takes so many twists and turns that it becomes difficult to follow what is happening at the screen. However, Emma Stone activing is one positive element that saves the movie from becoming meaningless and banal comedy. She is superb as Olive, acting confused, defiant and mature and at times was able to deliver the very cheeky dialogues with ease. Emma got critical acclaim from all who saw her superb performance on the screen. The critics called her ‘spectacular’ and one critic said that her acting in this movie places her in top ten acting performances in 2010. The story of Easy A was also praised, the critics says that it has highlighted a common dilemma faced by the teenagers, to abstain completely from sex or to succumb to peer pressure and sleep around. It also highlights how far the society has developed from the days of Hawthorne when a woman was branded and had to wear the letter A by the society and the modern times when girl thinks it is a good idea to announce that she is a free soul by voluntarily wearing the scarlet letter A.
Easy A was released to a packed movie audience all over the world, and grossed a huge financial amount for the producers. The net estimated profit from the worldwide market was $74,952,305, out of that it earned $58,401,464 in Canada and United States alone. The movie also nominated and received many awards. It won four awards for best comedy film, best comic performance, choice movie romantic comedy and choice movie actress in romantic comedy, out of this four, Emma Stone won two awards.
Easy A cannot be dismissed as a light hearted comedy, meant for entertainment. Underneath the frothy dialogue and hilarious situations the audience are forced to look at the deep insecurity and concerns of teenagers, who daily face peer pressure and ridicule from groups who would like to impose their own beliefs on others. It looks at the alien factor that forces some people to remain outside the group because they do not fit with stereotype traits approved by the majority in the society. The movie has many layers and the top layer appears to be a light comedy.