Easy A just might be the best high school movie ever. Far be it from us to make John Hughes spin in his grave with such a controversial statement, but it’s true. We actually can’t wait to see it a second time to catch all the lines we missed from laughing so hard the first go around.
In the Molly Ringwald mold we have Olive, a smart, confident girl-next-door type with a wicked sense of humor who tells a teeny little lie about losing her virginity. When her fib is overheard by the over-righteous leader of the school’s fire-and-brimstone chastity club, the rumor spreads with lightning speed via text message and old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
When Olive agrees to let a gay boy claim he had sex with her to throw the legions of homophobic schoolmates off his queer scent, her bad reputation gets out of control. Soon, she’s a superhero to the school’s outcasts, accepting gift cards in exchange for needy (and nerdy) guys being able to fabricate tales of their sexual conquests with her, the unequivocal school skank. The guys leave the deal looking like studs, and Olive just looks like a bigger and bigger slut.
The film parallels “The Scarlet Letter,” which her English class is studying. Turning to the text, Hester’s trials and tribulations help give Olive the strength to embrace her bad reputation, complete with a scarlet “A” on her outfits, and give the school something to really talk about when the chaste truth is ultimately revealed in an explosive climax of jaw-dropping revelations.
Screenwriter Bert V. Royal has woven a sassy tapestry of relatable plot, hilariously eccentric characters and some of the best one-liners ever written for the screen – all while paying loving homage to John Hughes and his ’80s contemporaries who helped create High School Angst Comedy as a genre unlike any other. The movie never once falls into parody, but nearly every scene is bubbling over with music, dialogue or imagery with a heavy nod to its source material.
For Emma Stone, the film’s star, this is a breakout role that could change her career in the way Juno did for Ellen Page. Stone’s got a Lindsay Lohan vibe (without the addictions, hopefully) and a sultry tenor voice that gives her sarcastic delivery an extra painful punch to whoever’s on the receiving end of one of her barbs. If one good thing came out of VH1’s search for The Next Partridge Family, Stone is definitely it.
So, with its hhhhhhot guys, bitchy girls, and deliciously dark comedy, Easy A is a gay movie lover’s dream. And we’re sure, wherever he is, John Hughes is extremely proud.