Easy A (stylized as easy A) is a 2010 American teen comedy film directed by Will Gluck, written by Bert V. Royal and starring Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church, Dan Byrd, Amanda Bynes (in her last film before acting hiatus), Penn Badgley, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, and Aly Michalka. The screenplay was partially inspired by the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Will Gluck|
|Written by||Bert V. Royal|
|Edited by||Susan Littenberg|
Olive Bridge Entertainment
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Box office||$75 million|
Shot at Screen Gems studios and in Ojai, California, the film was released on September 17, 2010, received positive reviews with major praise drawn towards Stone's performance and was a major financial success, grossing $75 million worldwide, against an $8 million budget.
Olive 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", which is played by a musical greeting card from her grandmother.
The following Monday, pressed by Rhiannon, Olive lies about losing her virginity to a college boy. Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes), a girl with a devout Christian faith whom Olive considers to be prissy, overhears her telling the lie and soon it spreads like wildfire. The school's church group run by Marianne decides Olive will be their next project. Olive confides the truth to her friend Brandon (Dan Byrd), and he understands because others bully him because of his homosexuality. He later asks Olive to pretend to sleep with him so that he will be accepted by everyone as a "straight stud".
Olive agrees to help him and they pretend to have sex at a party. After a fight with Rhiannon over her 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, inspired by The Scarlet Letter (which her literature class is currently studying), stitches a red "A" onto everything. Boys who usually have had no luck with girls in the past now beg Olive to increase their popularity by saying they have had sex with her, in exchange for gift cards to various stores. This in turn increases her reputation. Things get worse when Micah (Cam Gigandet), Marianne's boyfriend who has had to repeat several grades, contracts chlamydia from sleeping with Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow), the school guidance counsellor, and blames it all on Olive. As Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church) is her favorite teacher, Olive agrees to the lie to spare his marriage.
Marianne's friends from the church youth group, which now includes Rhiannon, begin 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 love interest, who is also the school's mascot. Todd tells her that he does not believe the rumors because he remembers when she lied for him (portrayed by Braeden Lemasters as younger Todd) when he was not ready for his first kiss years ago.
Olive now has a change of heart and begins to ask everyone she lied for to help her out by telling the truth, but Brandon and Micah have abruptly left town, and with their newfound popularity, no one else wants to tell. When Mrs. Griffith also refuses to tell the truth, Olive threatens to expose her affair, but Mrs. Griffith snidely says no one would believe her. Out of spite, Olive then immediately tells Mr. Griffith, who believes her and separates from his wife.
After a friendly talk with her open-minded mother Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson), Olive comes up with a plan to finally get everything out in the open. She does a song-and-dance number at a school pep rally to get people's attention to watch her via webcast—the film. The various boys whose reputations Olive helped improve are watching; Olive texts Rhiannon, apologizing for lying to her.
As she is finishing up her webcast, Todd comes by on a riding mower, serenades her by playing a recording of "Don't You (Forget About Me)", and asks her to come outside. She signs off by saying that she may lose her virginity to Todd sooner or later, but proudly declaring that "it's nobody's goddamn business". She goes outside to meet him, they kiss, and the two are shown riding off on the lawn mower.
- Emma Stone as Olive Penderghast
- Juliette Goglia as young Olive
- Penn Badgley as "Woodchuck" Todd
- Braeden Lemasters as young Todd
- Amanda Bynes as Marianne Bryant
- Dan Byrd as Brandon
- Aly Michalka as Rhiannon Abernathy
- Thomas Haden Church as Mr. Griffith
- Lisa Kudrow as Mrs. Griffith
- Patricia Clarkson as Rosemary Penderghast
- Stanley Tucci as Dill Penderghast
- Cam Gigandet as Micah
- Malcolm McDowell as Principal Gibbons
- Mahaley Manning as Nina Howell
- Jake Sandvig as Anson
- Bryce Clyde Jenkins as Chip Penderghast
- Johanna Braddy as Melody Bostic
- Fred Armisen as Pastor Bryant
- Stacey Travis as Mrs. Bryant
- Max Crumm as Pontius
- Lalaine as Gossip Girl
Screenwriter Bert V. Royal claims to have written the entire screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days. 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. 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). 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. 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, director Will Gluck shot two versions of many scenes, both with and without the coarser language. Although the film was cut down for a wider audience, the film still obtained a 15 rating in the United Kingdom.
Gluck credits Stone with improvising the line about being a "Gossip Girl in the Sweet Valley of Traveling Pants". The entire film was shot in Ojai, California, 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, The Dollyrots, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Pussycat Dolls.
|Easy A (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||September 14, 2010|
|Genre||Pop, hip hop, rock, punk rock, new wave|
|Label||Madison Gate Records|
|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|
|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 I 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|
Easy A was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 21, 2010. 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.
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. 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.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 187 reviews, with an average rating of 7.07/10. 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." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, assigned the film a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
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." 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". 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".
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Emma Stone||Nominated|
|Casting Society of America||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|
|Best Comedy Director||Will Gluck||Nominated|
|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||Emma Stone||Nominated|
|Best Comedic Performance||Emma Stone||Won|
|Best Line from a Movie||Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Romantic Comedy||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|
|A.C.E. Awards||Best Editing - Comedy||Susan Littenberg||Nominated|
It was announced on June 20, 2019, that a spinoff film of Easy A is in development, which will be written and directed by Bert V. Royal.
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