Easy A is an excellent movie for most college-age students, blending drama, comedy and romance. Along with its comedic presentation, Easy A is a social commentary on the dangers of what many students consider norms and how harmful these norms can be to everyone on campus.
The main character, Olive, played by Emma Stone, is a high school student who has led an ordinary, virginal life until one weekend when she does not want to go camping with her best friend Rhiannon, played by Aly Michalka. Olive lies about her plans to meet with a boy from the local community college and hence cannot go with Rhiannon, but she actually has no plans. When Rhiannon gets back from her weekend trip, Olive does not say that she lost her virginity to this nonexistent college student, but she does not deny it either. Within 10 minutes of telling Rhiannon, the entire school knows about Olive’s “lost” virginity.
Eventually Olive’s loose lips begin to sink ships. The religious community at Olive’s school begins to persecute her and attempt to save her from her evil ways. Rhiannon begins to resent Olive because of her newfound popularity. Ultimately the rumors get so out of hand that someone accuses Olive of having chlamydia. Olive eventually tears apart her English teacher’s marriage and toils for weeks to salvage what is left of her reputation.
The film deserves an A+ because of the stellar ability of its writers. The plot twists and turns, is interesting, and has well-written characters. The story of Olive and her male counterpart Todd, played by Penn Badgley, creates a unique spin on the typical boy-meets-girl romance. Todd actually stands by and allows Olive to live in her faked debauchery and then decides to pursue her. The film features the usual scene where Todd saves Olive from a potentially bad situation bringing her safely back to her house.
Brandon, played by Dan Byrd, was not the stereotypical flamboyant gay best friend. Brandon plays a poor little high school kid who desires nothing more than to be thought of as a straight horndog. The writing for Easy A is excellent and takes an atypical approach to how romance and gays are often portrayed in film.
The casting for the movie was also done well. Stone is coming into her element and definitely has a future in other bildungsroman films. Byrd, who is already an accomplished actor, does an excellent job of playing the sensitive gay student. His emotions and skills in portraying a teenager make him stellar in this role. Michalka is probably the only actor who is wanting in this film. She seems an acting newbie due to an overemotionalized performance.
All in all, Easy A is a movie that provides a lot of insight on how quickly rumors can spread and eventually how destructive they can be. The film also hints at the dangers of ruthlessly pursuing popularity at all costs. Easy A is a smart teen movie with a lot of heart.