Into Film Project: 3 – Easy A

This is my second time watching Easy A and it was as good, if not better, than first time round. It was chosen for Sexual Health Week, which starts today and finishes on Sunday, and it is a fair choice because the film revolves around assumptions about the sexual promiscuity of the protagonist. As always there are spoilers.

Easy A follows Olive Penderghast as she navigates the rumour mill that is American High School. A key lesson in the film is honesty and one lie to feel superior to her best friend spirals into a rumour that gives Olive a whole new reputation. Embracing her new found status, Olive’s life is flung into chaos as she goes from outcast to popular to infamous, with drastic changes in her friendships and relationships.

For a start, the first ten minutes will be hilarious if you know anyone called George, and it is strangely a sequence that you forget about, allowing you to enjoy the hilarity again and again! Olive’s parents are also an amazing comedic addition to the film and epitomise the ideal of ‘cool parents’ that would never work in real life. It was also odd and great to see the appearance of Phoebe from Friends as the guidance counsellor that you slowly grow to hate.

As well as being incredibly funny, the film has a lot of messages and raises questions. One asked by Olive herself is what is worse out of lying or adultery and what if you are lying saying you are adulterous, is that just as bad? The idea of Christianity is explored as well, with the Christian group at the high school condemning Olive, despite one of their number being exposed as sleeping with the guidance counsellor. Although this is written with a comedic angle in mind, I would like to emphasise that this is not an appropriate Christian response and had they opened the Bible they would see encouragement of love not condemnation. I also could not get over the casting of Amanda Bynes as the ringleader – both perfect and absurd in equal measures!

The ending of the film was very well done. Olive fending off unwanted attention from one of her classmates only serves to emphasise that, whatever your reputation or sexual history, no means no whatever the other person wants from you. The intervention of the lovely Todd also shows that not all men are sex-crazed losers like most of the other men portrayed in the film. Actually let’s exclude Olive’s father and brother from that definition too and certainly Mr Griffith, who is the biggest loser out of the whole affair – I did end the film hoping he had a happy ending.

I loved the framing of the film as Olive’s video diary explanation of what really happened and the parallels with The Scarlet Letter was very clever – although I have not read the book, it has made me want to read it!

An insightful and funny film, perfect for a girls night in. Great cast and script and completely relevant. Five stars, because it was just too good for four.

The next installment of my Into Film Project is for International Day of Democracy tomorrow, but as I am busy I will watch Pride on Wednesday (16th) and blog it then. Comment if you are enjoying the project so far!

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