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Easy A

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Easy A
A teenage girl 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 byWill Gluck
Written byBert V. Royal
Produced by
  • Zanne Devine
  • Will Gluck
CinematographyMichael Grady
Edited bySusan Littenberg
Music byBrad Segal
Screen Gems
Olive Bridge Entertainment
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release dates
  • September 11, 2010 (2010-09-11) (TIFF)
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million[2]
Box office$75 million[3]

Easy A (stylized as easy A) is a 2010 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Will Gluck, written by Bert V. Royal, starring Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church, Dan Byrd, Penn Badgley, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Aly Michalka, Malcolm McDowell, and Amanda Bynes (in her final acting credit). The screenplay was partially inspired by the 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Shot at Screen Gems studios and in Ojai, California, the film was released on September 17, 2010. The film received positive reviews with high praise for Stone's performance, and was a major financial success, grossing $75 million worldwide against a budget of $8 million. Stone received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, while the movie won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Comedy.

The film is ranked as number 14 on Entertainment Weekly's 2021 list of the Best High School Movies.[4]


The story is narrated by Olive Penderghast, a seventeen-year-old high school girl living in Ojai, California, speaking into her webcam.

Olive lies to her best friend, Rhiannon Abernathy, about going on a date in order to get out of a camping trip with Rhiannon's hippie parents, instead hanging around the house all weekend listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" from a musical greeting card her grandmother sent her. The following Monday, Rhiannon presses Olive until she lies about losing her virginity to a college boy. Marianne Bryant, a prudish devout Christian, overhears her telling the lie and it soon spreads throughout the school. The school's church group, run by Marianne, decides to "save" Olive from her supposed promiscuity. Olive confides the truth to her friend Brandon, who is bullied by other students for being gay. He asks her to pretend to have sex with him at a party so the other students will believe he is straight, to which she agrees.

After a fight with Rhiannon, Olive decides to counteract the harassment by embracing her new reputation as the school tramp. She begins to wear more provocative clothing and stitch a red "A" onto her clothes, inspired by Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, which she has been reading in English class. Boys who have had no previous luck with girls beg Olive to increase their popularity by letting them claim they have had sex with her, which she does in exchange for gift cards to various stores. Things get worse when Micah, Marianne's boyfriend, contracts chlamydia from sleeping with Mrs. Griffith, the school guidance counselor, and blames Olive. As Mrs. Griffith's husband, Mr. Griffith, is Olive's favorite teacher, she accepts the blame to spare their marriage.

The church youth group, which now includes Rhiannon, begins harassing Olive in an attempt to get her to drop out of school. She is asked out on a date by Anson, Rhiannon's crush, which ends badly when he tries to bribe Olive to actually have sex with him and not just pretend that she did.

Olive later reconnects with Todd, her childhood crush and the school mascot, who tells her he does not believe the rumors because she lied for him when he was not ready for his first kiss years ago. She decides to ask everyone she lied for to help her by telling everyone the truth, but nobody is willing to relinquish their newfound popularity. When Mrs. Griffith also refuses to tell the truth, Olive threatens to expose her affair, but Mrs. Griffith says no one would believe her. Out of spite, Olive immediately tells Mr. Griffith, who subsequently separates from his wife.

After talking with her open-minded mother, Olive comes up with a plan – she performs a song-and-dance number at a school pep rally to draw people's attention and tells them to watch her webcast later that night, promising an online sex show with Todd when in reality, it is the webcast that has served as the narrative device for the film. As Olive is concluding her webcast, Todd comes by her house riding a lawn mower. She signs off by saying that she may lose her virginity to him sooner or later, but declares that "it is nobody's goddamn business." Olive texts Rhiannon and apologizes for lying to her. She goes outside to meet Todd and the two share a kiss before riding off on the lawn mower.




Screenwriter Bert V. Royal claims to have written the entire screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days.[5] 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.[5] 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).[5] Director Will 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.[6] According to Royal, although the word "fuck" appeared 47 times in the original draft, which was written as an R-rated comedy, all occurrences were cut from the final film. However, Gluck shot two versions of many scenes, both with and without the coarser language.[5] Although the film was cut down for a wider audience, the film still obtained a 15 rating in the United Kingdom.[7]


Gluck credits Stone with improvising the line about being a "Gossip Girl in the Sweet Valley of Traveling Pants".[8] The entire film was shot in Ojai, California in the summer of 2009, using Panavision's Genesis and later filmized. 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, and the end credits are filmed on Fordyce Road, both located in Ojai, California.


The soundtrack was released by Madison Gate Records on September 14, 2010, and is available via iTunes. It features tracks from Jessie J, Lenka, Natasha Bedingfield, Kardinal Offishall, and Cary Brothers. Other songs in the film but not on the soundtrack album are from OneRepublic, Angus & Julia Stone, The Dollyrots, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Pussycat Dolls.[9]

Easy A (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 14, 2010
GenrePop, hip hop, rock, punk rock, new wave
LabelMadison Gate Records
1."Change of Seasons"Sweet Thing3:46
2."Bad Before Good"Day One3:50
3."Trouble Is a Friend"Lenka3:37
4."If You Were Here"Cary Brothers3:49
5."15 Minutes"The Yeah You's3:30
6."Cupid Shoot Me"Remi Nicole3:43
8."Don't You (Forget About Me)"AM4:23
9."We Go Together"I Heart Homework3:17
10."Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"Kardinal Offishall3:42
11."Perfect Picture"Carlos Bertonatti3:06
12."The Wolf"Miniature Tigers2:35
13."Sexy Silk"Jessie J2:43
14."When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade"The Boy Least Likely To3:42
15."Pocketful of Sunshine"Natasha Bedingfield3:24
16."Don't You (Forget About Me)"Simple Minds4:23


Emma Stone and Penn Badgley at the film's Toronto premiere.

Easy A had its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[10]

Home media[edit]

Easy A was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 21, 2010.[11] 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.


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.[2] The film grossed a total of $58,401,464 in the United States and Canada plus $16,624,752 in international markets for a worldwide total of $75,026,216, earning its budget back more than nine times, making it a huge financial success.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 193 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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."[12] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, assigned the film a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave 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."[15] Richard Corliss of Time magazine named Emma Stone's performance one of the ten best film performances of 2010, writing that "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".[16] 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".[17]

The film has been praised for redefining tropes of teen films, particularly those of the sex comedy genre.[18] In a retrospective piece for The Washington Post, Anying Guo discussed the film's influence, pointing out the film "[subverted] sex-crazed tropes into a sharp, thoughtful film" by satirizing teens' obsession with virginity itself.[19] Guo added, "Packed with references to “Say Anything” and other ’80s homages, the film felt refreshing against the steady churn of bildungsroman narratives that often centered on young men".[19]


Ceremony Category Recipients Result
Artios Awards[20] Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Feature – Studio or Independent Comedy Lisa Miller Katz Nominated
The Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film Easy A Nominated
Best Comedy Actress Emma Stone Nominated
Best Comedy Director Will Gluck Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards Best Comedy Film Easy A Won
Dorian Awards Unsung Film of the Year Won
EDA Awards Actress Defying Age and Ageism Patricia Clarkson Nominated
Eddie Awards Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Susan Littenberg Nominated
Empire Awards Best Comedy Easy A Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film – Wide Release Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Emma Stone Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards Best Comedy of the Year Easy A Nominated
Biggest Surprise of the Year Nominated
Best Actress of the Year Emma Stone Nominated
Breakthrough Performance of the Year Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance[21] Nominated
Best Comedic Performance[22] Won
Best Line from a Movie[23] Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Movie Easy A Nominated
Russian National Movie Awards Best Foreign Comedy Movie Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Comedy Nominated
Special Merit (for best scene, cinematic technique or other memorable aspect or moment) For the John Hughes tribute near the beginning. Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[24][25] Choice Movie: Romantic Comedy Easy A Won
Choice Movie Actor: Romantic Comedy Penn Badgley Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Romantic Comedy Emma Stone Won
Choice Movie: Female Scene Stealer Aly Michalka Nominated


It was announced on June 20, 2019, that a spin-off film of Easy A is in development, which will be written and directed by Bert V. Royal.[26] Further confirmation of the film came in 2021, with Aly Michalka stating: "There are talks that there might be a sequel. That actually is semi real. ... It would be kind of like a new retelling but you'd see some of the characters from the original come back into the story."[27]


  1. ^ "EASY A (15)". British Board of Film Classification. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Fritz, Ben (September 16, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Easy A' expected to lead 'The Town,' 'Devil,' 'Alpha and Omega'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 3, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Easy A (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ "50 Best High School Movies". EW.com. May 14, 2021. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "Easy A Q&A". Creative Screenwriting Magazine Podcast. September 14, 2010. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Clark, Krystal (October 14, 2010). "Interview: Director Will Gluck for Easy A". ScreenCrave. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "EASY A rated 15 by the BBFC". Bbfc.co.uk. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  8. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 18, 2010). "Easy A Director Will Gluck on Teen Sex and '80s Fantasy Boyfriends". Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  9. ^ "Easy A (2010)". Archived from the original on January 8, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2018 – via www.imdb.com.
  10. ^ Corliss, Richard (September 17, 2010). "Easy A: We ♥ Emma Stone". Time. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010.
  11. ^ "'Easy A' DVD Release Date Announced". BuzzFocus. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  12. ^ "Easy A (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on January 25, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "Easy A reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 15, 2010). "Review: "Easy A"". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  16. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 9, 2010). "The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - Emma Stone as Olive in Easy A". Time. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  17. ^ US Weekly - Issue 829 - Dated January 3, 2011.
  18. ^ "Sexless comedy, cool parents and a cocky Emma Stone: How Easy A redefined the Noughties teen film". The Independent. September 21, 2020. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Guo, Anying (September 16, 2020). "I saw the teen comedies of my generation, but they didn't see me. Then came 'Easy A.'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  20. ^ "2011 Artios Award Nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Casting". Casting Society of America. 2011. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  21. ^ "Best Female Performance" Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  22. ^ "Best Comedic Performance" Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  23. ^ "Best Line from a Movie" Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  24. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2011: The Winners". Elena Gorgan. August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on May 28, 2023. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  25. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2010: Second (Giant) Wave Of Nominees Announced!". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 20, 2019). "'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Aly Michalka Reveals a Potential Easy a Sequel is in the Works". July 25, 2021. Archived from the original on July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.

External links[edit]