Adorable Emma Stone learns that whoring it up to the max is not only fun, but also profitable.
Easy A is a 2010 teen comedy,which continues the grand Hollywood tradition of 20 something actors pretend to be high school students. Because having real teenagers talk about sex would be inappropriate, right? So we make pretend.
Emma plays Olive, a shy, unpopular girl who tries to score cool points by lying about sleeping with a college guy. The news travel fast, and within the span of a single day she goes from virtual non-entity to a school wide infamous whore-bag. Instead of being emo about it, and inhaling six pints of Hagen Dazs (like teenage girls always seem to do in the movies) she decides to embrace this new reputation, and milk it for all the attention she can get. In the process she realizes she can actually turn her fake promiscuity into a profitable side business. In exchange for gifts and money, she has pretend-sex with all the dorks, geeks and social outcasts.
Apparently banging the biggest slut in school automatically makes you a cool dude, and is the ultimate defense against bullying. Especially if you happen to be gay. Easy A teaches us that paying a girl to say she has slept with you will automatically win you acceptance among the football jocks who used to beat you up, and will magically fix all your identity problems.
While the entire plot of the movie revolves around sex, no one is actually having any. It is made very clear that Olive is really a good girl and most definitely a virgin, and that any girl who isn’t one is properly demonized. After all, we wouldn’t want to have a teen comedy featuring a strong, sexually liberated female protagonist. That would be silly. And most definitely we wouldn’t want a movie like this to actually tackle the social issues surrounding the sexual double standard head on. No, we embrace the double standards and exploit the social stigma surrounding expression female sexuality for cheep laughs.
Olive quickly learns that exploring your sexuality, even if it’s make-believe, is completely wrong shameful and that it will totally ruin your life. At the end of the movie she is forced to back-pedal, take everything back and reveal she was a sweet and innocent virgin all along. After all, reputation amongst your peers is the most important thing in the world, especially for a High School senior who is going to fuck off to college in a few months.
But hey, it’s a comedy. Emma Stone is cute as a button, charming and seems to be having a blast doing funny faces for comic relief. She shows that she is perfectly capable of the role of leading lady. She also writes little whimsical chapter titles on notebook paper as she narrates the story. For shits and giggles I decided to emulate this, in my reaction shot for this review.
It also features Amanda Bynes as goody two-shoes christian-abstinence poster girl and an antagonist of sorts. Though her character is mostly used to take vicious jabs at the Christian youth. There doesn’t seem to be an anti-religious agenda there though. These jokes are mostly done as a balancing act. Olive gets more or less crucified for her pretend-promiscuity, but it would probably be very uncool if kids mistook this as promotion of chastity and wholesome values. And so, Bynes gets to play an intentionally annoying character that could be ridiculed not necessarily for her beliefs, but for her hypocrisy in relation to them. You know, for balance.
In the end, no one really learns anything. Olive manages to restore her reputation, and does not have to deal with the social stigma anymore. The Christian girl is more or less vindicated in her misguided campaign against whoring. The movie flirts with exploring social issues surrounding female sexuality and it’s expression but then quickly backs away and plays it safe.
The whole enterprise seems to be a vehicle to show Emma Stone prance around her room singing “I’ve got a pocket full of Sunshine”. And that is coincidentally the most enjoyable part of this whole movie.