Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. There, I have your attention. It never disappoints, does it? Sex does not fail to incite interest, regardless of age or group or gender, although obviously it’s the object of much more curiosity in high school than afterwards—at least in the West. Let’s admit it: this is what makes Easy A so appealing, what with its slew of scandalous (sometimes illicit, mostly unfulfilled) underage sexual exploits. Of course nothing really erotic happens onscreen, but the constant coquettish tomfoolery keeps us interested nonetheless.
In this movie, a seemingly innocent “We did it!” lie pushes anonymous good girl Olive (Emma Stone) in the school spotlight. As her reputation spreads, she receives a series of proposals for fake sexual trysts, entertains them in exchange for gift cards, skyrockets into infamy, and achieves super-slut status—all while keeping her virginity intact. But soon enough Olive discovers that things have gotten out of control and decides to extricate herself from this web of lies—before it’s too late.
Like any teen comedy flick worthy of the name, Easy A combines a likable lead actress with a bevy of recognizable characters: the crazy best friend, the gay buddy, the ideal boyfriend, the snobby antagonist, and the ubiquitous pair of wacky parents. Not that I minded. Familiar but not too rehashed, these identities provided enough laughs to keep me entertained throughout. But the real, uncontested star of the show here is the irresistibly charming Emma Stone. She plays her character so well that she endears herself to us instead of coming across as a daft girl who brings about her own downfall. Almost by herself, she successfully carries a rather loose plot that seemed less like a smooth succession of events and more like a contrived sequence made up to lead to a predetermined conflict. But to its credit, the movie didn’t seem too forced in its reinvention of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (though it did have some awkward self-aware comparisons here and there). But despite its weaknesses (as Meryl said, Penn Badgley’s character Todd seems oddly out of place), Easy A remains a funny, engaging movie. It appeals not only to adolescent girls but to all of us who have undergone that bizarre, unforgettable period in our lives: high school.
‘You’re not even a real slut. You just want people to think you are. It’s pathetic.’
‘How do you know I like being thought of as a floozy?’ ‘Because at least it’s your being thought of.’
‘And sure, we can sit and fantasize all we want about how things are gonna be different one day but this is today and it sucks.’
‘Just once I want my life to be like an awesome 80s movie.’
‘That’s Todd. Not that I owe you guys any more confessions, but I really like this guy. And I might even lose my virginity to him. I don’t know when it’ll happen, you know. It might be five minutes from now, or tonight, or six months from now, or maybe on our wedding night. But the really amazing thing is, it is nobody’s goddamn business.’