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Mar 13
opinion challenge: Movies

Easy A: A Review

Movie: Easy A 
Age rating: PG - 13 
Rotten Tomato Score: 85% 
Audience Score: 77% 
Personal score: 65% 

Summary: “Prompted by her popular best friend to spill details of her boring weekend, Olive (Emma Stone), a clean-cut teen, decides to spice things up by telling a little lie about losing her virginity. When the high-school busybody (Amanda Bynes) overhears the conversation and spreads it all over campus, Olive is suddenly notorious but for the wrong reasons” (Rotten Tomatoes). 


Easy A is the most recent movie I’ve seen. I watched it about one day ago, and was sorely unimpressed. First off, my own personal summary: a teenage girl complicates her life by telling lies that spin out of control, leaving the rest of the school overly interested in the lives of their fellow students. I see two main problems with this movie. Firstly, the unrealistic portrayal of highschool and teenagers in general. Secondly, the outdated perspective on female sexuality. 

Like most teen cinema from the 90's - 2010’s, the film completely misses the mark regarding the lives and experiences of actual teenagers. When Olive, the main character, tells the first lie about her sexual activity to her best friend, the rumor spreads like wildfire. By the next morning every student is whispering about her, and every head swivels her way. In reality, no one cares that much. Highschoolers are too self centered and caught up in their own problems to spend that much time thinking about somebody else. In my experience, unless someone is my friend, I couldn't care less about who they’re with or how they spend their time. The movie makes another mistake through its display of Olive’s parents. As their daughter sinks deeper and deeper into the web of rumors she’s created, they stay completely unfazed. They simply make jokes about their daughter’s life and continue on like everything is normal. Her dad even goes so far as to say “give them hell” when Olive decides to embrace her new persona. At one point, Olive tells them not to worry about rumors of her having chlamydia, and after a brief inquiry into her social life, they let it go. Almost any teengager can agree that this behavior is completely inaccurate. Most parents would be freaking out, scheduling meetings with the guidance counselor, administering daily interrogations, and considering homeschool by the first half of the movie. Finally, there’s the casting. Predictably, none of the actors actually look nor act like teenagers. How is the viewer supposed to relate to Olive when she's played by Emma Stone and wears heels for most of the movie? 

Another piece of the movie that really frustrated me, was the stance it took towards female sexuality. Now, while I understand this movie was released in 2010, 13 long, long years ago, the blatant sexism this movie trumps can not be excused. After Olive tells her first lie, that she hooked up with a college guy, she is instantly citisized the next day. Marianne, the popular and overly enthusiastic Christian girl, tells her that she is a slut and horrible person who deserves to go to hell. This is such a double standard considering the fact that Olive wasn’t seen as worth of any attention before the incident, and now the attention she gets is negative. Her sexual activity has no relation to her morality or “goodness” and reinforces the idea that women need to be “pure” to be accepted into society. Later, Olive even belittles herself saying, “Oh, haven’t you heard, I’m the new school slut” (Easy A). As the movie progresses, boys start paying Olive money to lie about sleeping with them in order to improve their reputations. Meanwhile, Olive’s reputation is going down the drain and her own best friend turns on her, the reason being that Olive’s actions are somehow ruining her, making her no longer viable as a friend. Olive is suffering because the school believes she’s a prostitute, meanwhile the men who are paying her are benefiting and receive no criticism for their actions. They are becoming more and more popular even though they’re the ones exploiting her. Unfortunately, criticism, bullying and ostracization relating to women's sexual life is frustratingly normal. However, Easy A does next to nothing to combat these ideas. Instead, it inflames them for the sake of entertainment. 

Overall, Easy A was a disappointment. It was unrealistic, cliche, and irritatingly sexist. If Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes weren’t in this movie, I highly doubt it would be as popular. In the future, I hope to watch movies that accurately capture the modern teenage experience in a flattering light.