Easy A (2010) – a Modern Reinvention of The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter, a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850 is about a woman named Hester Prynne who conceives a child after a scandalous, adulterous affair.
The townspeople punish her by forcing her to wear a red “A” patched to her clothes as a sign of her sin.
The novel has been adapted for film several times.
The original was made in 1908 and starred Gene Gauntier and Jack Conway, then in 1913 a color adaptation starring Linda Arvidson and Murdock MacQuarrie, and the version everyone remembers is the 1995 Demi Moore version.
Now, the novel has been freely adapted once more by Bert V. Royal into comedy and placed in a high school setting.
Now before I indulge further into the film, I must warn that there will be spoilers which may dull your viewing pleasures later on. If you don’t want the experience ruined then I suggest stopping now, otherwise you may continue.
Easy A is about Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), a high school student who is barely noticeable by her peers until a rumor about her losing her virginity to a guy in community college gets her notoriety which she uses to her advantage. However, when the rumor mill spins out of control and does more damage than she can imagine, she attempts to tell the truth by broadcasting live on the internet to an audience of hormonal hyped teenagers who think she’ll be giving them a show.
Freckled faced Emma Stone who plays Penderghast is entertainingly funny as she spurts out a barrage of literary insults to her peers.
I loved it when she called her classmates an “abominable twat” after she was called an “abominable tramp”.
This lands her in the Principal’s office which she later casually tells her parents, Dill (played funny man Stanley Tucci), Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson) and adopted brother George.
The parents are very supportive of Olive and even joke about the peer troubles she is facing, even when she tells them about why she went to the principal’s office. However, other characters are not so forgiving like Marianne Bryant (She’s the Man’s Amanda Bynes) who is the leader of a religious lynch mob trying to punish her.
Bynes character is a religious zealot who can be likened to the biblical parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee.
Another thing I noticed about the film is the use of colors. Panderghast, while embracing her notoriety and stitching an A on her dress, dresses in black – indicating a desire to be unseen, hidden. While Bryant wears bright vivid colors which screams out for attention.
Then you have the actual adulterers, Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow) and Micah (Cam Gigandet), who seem to love the color blue. Ironically, the school’s basketball team used to be The Blue Devils until Bryant and her disciples petitioned it to be changed to much less intimidating Woodchucks.
This film was really enjoyable with its clever clichés and innuendos and I really enjoyed the wordplay. Kudos!