Easy A

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For the pejorative term for an easy academic program, see Mickey Mouse degrees.
Easy A
Olive standing in front of a green chalkboard, labels are pointing at her and she is holding up a page which explains how this is the story of how she ruined her reputation.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Will Gluck
Produced by
  • Zanne Devine
  • Will Gluck
Written by Bert V. Royal
Starring
Music by Brad Segal
Cinematography Michael Grady
Edited by Susan Littenberg
Production
  company
Olive Bridge Entertainment
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release date(s)
  • September 11, 2010 (2010-09-11) (TIFF)
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (United States)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8 million[1]
Box office $74,952,305[2]

Easy A (stylized as easy A) is a 2010 American teen comedy film written by Bert V. Royal, directed by Will Gluck, and starring Emma Stone. The screenplay was partially inspired by the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The film was shot at Screen Gems studios and in Ojai, California. Screen Gems distributed with a release on September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17). It was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc December 21, 2010. The film was met with positive reviews, and was a commercial success.

Plot[edit]

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), a teenage girl living in Ojai, California lies to her best friend Rhiannon Abernathy (Aly Michalka) about going on a date in order to get out of camping with Rhiannon's hippie parents. Instead, she hangs around the house all weekend listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine". The following Monday, pressed by Rhiannon, Olive lies about losing her virginity to a college guy. Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes), a strictly religious christian at their school, overhears her telling the lie and soon it spreads like wildfire. The school's conservative church group run by Marianne decides Olive will be their next project. Olive confides the truth to her friend Brandon (Dan Byrd), and he explains how others bully him because he is gay. Brandon later asks Olive to pretend to sleep with him so that he will be accepted by everyone.

Brandon convinces Olive and they pretend to have sex at a party. After having a fight with Rhiannon over Olive's new identity as a "dirty skank", Olive decides to counteract the harassment by embracing her new image as the school tramp. She begins to wear more provocative clothing and stitches a red "A" to everything she wears. Boys who usually have had no luck with girls in the past beg Olive to say they have had sex with her in order to increase their own popularity, in exchange for gift cards to various stores, in turn increasing her reputation. Things get worse when Micah (Cam Gigandet), Marianne's 20-year-old boyfriend, contracts chlamydia from sleeping with Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow), the school guidance counsellor, and blames it all on Olive. Olive agrees to lie to cover up the affair so that the marriage of her favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church), would be spared.

Marianne's religious clique, which now includes Rhiannon, begins harassing Olive in order to get her to leave school. After an ill-fated date with Anson (Jake Sandvig), a boy who wants to pay her to actually sleep with him and not just pretend she did, Olive reconnects with Todd (Penn Badgley), her old crush, who is also the school's mascot. Todd then tells her that he does not believe the rumors because he remembers when she lied for him when he was not ready for his first kiss years ago. Olive then begins to ask everyone she lied for to help her out by telling the truth, but Brandon and Micah have abruptly left town and everyone else is enjoying their newfound popularity and do not want the truth to get out. Mrs. Griffith also refuses to tell the truth and when Olive threatens to expose her, Mrs. Griffith rebuffs her, saying no one would believe her.

Olive, out of spite, then immediately tells Mr. Griffith, who believes her and separates from Mrs. Griffith. After a friendly talk with her eccentric, open-minded mother Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson), Olive comes up with a plan to get everything finally out in the open. She then does a song and dance number at a school pep rally to get people's attention to watch her via web cam, where she confesses what she has done (the web cam is the framing device of the film). The various boys whose reputations Olive helped improve are also shown watching. Later, Olive texts Rhiannon apologizing for lying to her. When she is finishing up her web cast, Todd comes by riding a lawnmower and tells her to come outside. She signs off by saying she may lose her virginity to Todd, and proudly declares its nobody's business. She goes outside to meet him, they kiss and the two are shown riding off on the lawnmower.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Screenwriter Bert V. Royal claims to have written the entire screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days.[3]

Royal's plan was to adapt three classic works into films and to set them at the same high school, so that some characters would appear in multiple films. Besides The Scarlet Letter, which was the source material for Easy A, Royal wanted to adapt Cyrano de Bergerac and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.[3]

Natasha Bedingfield's song "Pocketful of Sunshine", which becomes a running joke in the film, was not in Royal's original script. He envisioned "Olive", a track from Ken Nordine's 1966 album Colors, to play during Olive's weekend montage (which introduces the song).[3]

Gluck's favorite film is Ferris Bueller's Day Off and has multiple homages to it in the film (Olive's shower Mohawk, "never had one lesson"), among many other John Hughes references.[4]

According to Royal, although the word "fuck" appeared 47 times in the original draft and was written as an R-rated comedy, all occurrences were cut from the final film. However, director Will Gluck shot two versions of many scenes, both with and without the coarser language.[3] Although the film was cut down for a wider audience, the film still obtained a 15 rating in the United Kingdom.[5]

Filming[edit]

Gluck credits Stone with improvising the line about being a "Gossip Girl in the Sweet Valley of Traveling Pants".[6]

This film was shot on Panavision's Genesis and later filmized.

The entire film was shot in Ojai, California. Not a single film set was used; even the houses in the film belong to Ojai residents. The school used as "Ojai North High School" in the film is Nordhoff High School, also located in Ojai, California.

Release[edit]

Easy A had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.[7]

Home media[edit]

Easy A was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 21, 2010.[8] The DVD features a gag reel, Emma Stone's audition footage, an audio commentary with director Gluck and Stone, and previews. Blu-ray exclusive bonus features include: The Making of Easy A, The School of Pop Culture: Movies of the '80s, Vocabulary of Hilarity and a trivia track.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film opened on September 17, 2010 and grossed $6,787,163 on its opening day and $17,734,040 in its opening weekend, placing second behind The Town on both figures, and already making back more than double the film's slim $8 million budget. This was in line with expectations from Sony of an opening weekend take of around $15 million.[1] The film has grossed a total of $58,401,464 in the United States and Canada plus $16,550,841 in international markets for a worldwide total of $74,952,305, earning its budget back more than nine times, making it a huge financial success.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mainly positive reviews from critics, with many praising Stone's performance. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a "Certified Fresh" rating of 85% based on 175 reviews, with an average score of 7.1/10 and the consensus being, "It owes a huge debt to older (and better) teen comedies, but Easy A proves a smart, witty showcase for its irresistibly charming star, Emma Stone."[9] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, assigned the film a weighted average score of 72% based on 34 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]

In his review, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert awarded the film three and a half out of four stars, writing, "Easy A offers an intriguing middle ground to the absolute of sexual abstinence: Don't sleep with anybody, but say you did. It's a funny, engaging comedy that takes the familiar but underrated Emma Stone and makes her, I believe, a star."[11] Richard Corliss of Time Magazine named Emma Stone's performance one of the Top 10 Movie Performances of 2010, saying "Stone lends winning maturity and a gift for making sassy dialogue sound natural. This 22-year-old is an actress-personality — a star — around whom Hollywood could build some pretty good movies".[12]

John Griffiths from Us Weekly gave the film two and a half stars out of four; he praised Stone, stating that "With her husky voice and fiery hair, Stone is spectacular, echoing early Lindsay Lohan", but also added that "The story is thin, and the laughs meager".[13]

Awards[edit]

Ceremony Category Recipients Result
68th Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Emma Stone Nominated
Casting Society of America[14] Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Feature – Studio or Independent Comedy Lisa Miller Katz Nominated
The Comedy Awards Best Comedy Actress Emma Stone Nominated
The Comedy Awards Best Comedy Director Will Gluck Nominated
The Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film Nominated
People's Choice Award Best Movie Comedy Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Comedy Film Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance[15] Emma Stone Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance[16] Emma Stone Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Line from a Movie[17] Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Romantic Comedy Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actor: Romantic Comedy Penn Badgley Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Romantic Comedy[18] Emma Stone Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Female Scene Stealer[19] Alyson Michalka Nominated
The A.C.E. Awards Best Editing, Comedy Susan Littenberg Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was released by Madison Gate Records on September 14, 2010, and is available on iTunes. It features tracks from Jessie J, Lenka, Natasha Bedingfield, Kardinal Offishall, and Cary Brothers. Other songs in the movie but not on the soundtrack album are from OneRepublic, the Dollyrots, Death Cab for Cutie and The Pussycat Dolls.[20]

Easy A (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released 14 September 2010
Genre Pop, hip hop, rock, punk rock, new wave
Label Madison Gate Records
No. Title Music Length
1. "Change of Seasons"   Sweet Thing 3:46
2. "Bad Before Good"   Day One 3:50
3. "Trouble Is a Friend"   Lenka 3:37
4. "If You Were Here"   Cary Brothers 3:49
5. "15 Minutes"   The Yeah You's 3:30
6. "Cupid Shoot Me"   Remi Nicole 3:43
7. "Satellite"   Kram 3:06
8. "Don't You (Forget About Me)"   AM 4:23
9. "We Go Together"   I Heart Homework 3:17
10. "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"   Kardinal Offishall 3:42
11. "Perfect Picture"   Carlos Bertonatti 3:06
12. "The Wolf"   Miniature Tigers 2:35
13. "Sexy Silk"   Jessie J 2:43
14. "When Life Gives Me Lemons/Make Lemonade"   The Boy Least Likely To 3:42
15. "Pocketful of Sunshine"   Natasha Bedingfield 3:24
16. "Don't You (Forget About Me)"   Simple Minds 4:23

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fritz, Ben (2010-09-16). "Movie projector: 'Easy A' expected to lead 'The Town,' 'Devil,' 'Alpha and Omega'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Easy A (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Bert V. Royal Interview with Creative Screenwriting Magazine Podcast, Sept. 14, 2010". Creativescreenwritingmagazine.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  4. ^ Krystal Clark (2010-10-14). "Interview: Director Will Gluck for Easy A". ScreenCrave. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  5. ^ "EASY A rated 15 by the BBFC". Bbfc.co.uk. 2010-08-12. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  6. ^ Jen Yamato (2010-09-18). "'Easy A' Director Will Gluck on Teen Sex and '80s Fantasy Boyfriends". 
  7. ^ Corliss, Richard (2010-09-17). "Easy A: We ♥ Emma Stone". Time. 
  8. ^ "'Easy A' DVD Release Date Announced". BuzzFocus. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  9. ^ "Easy A Film Reviews at rottentomatoes.com". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Easy A Film Reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ Roger Ebert (September 15, 2010). "Review: "Easy A"". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  12. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 9, 2010). "The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - Emma Stone as Olive in Easy A". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  13. ^ US Weekly - Issue 829 - Dated January 3, 2011.
  14. ^ "2011 Artios Award Nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Casting". Casting Society of America. 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Best Female Performance". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  16. ^ "Best Comedic Performance". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  17. ^ "Best Line from a Movie". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  18. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2011: The Winners". Elena Gorgan. Retrieved 08 - 08 - 2011. 
  19. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2010: Second (Giant) Wave Of Nominees Announced!". Retrieved 8 - 15 - 2011. 
  20. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1282140/soundtrack

External links[edit]