The 2010 teen movie set in modern-day America was inspired by the 1850 classic novel The Scarlet Letter. Easy A's lead actor Emma Stone shines in this modern retelling of the book.
Over a decade ago, Hollywood star Emma Stone had her career breakthrough with the modern adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Easy A. She has followed it up with some incredible performances, and has even gone on to win an Oscar for her performance in the romantic musical La La Land (2016). But had it not been for the Will Gluck directorial that was written by Bert V Royal, we would have missed out on her talent. Now it is interesting that Emma Stone’s Easy A is spoken of in such high terms, considering it is set in a pretty generic American high school. In fact, its end is predictable, as most rom-com’s ends are. But the fact that it had such solid references in the form of Hawthorne’s 1850 story and John Hughes’ movies, helped its case.
Easy A is not subtle in paying homage to its inspirations, and I mean that in a good way. Its makers are unabashed about doffing their hat to the legends that came before them. And then they do their own retelling of it in the most engaging fashion possible — by pulling us into a story told from the perspective of a notorious teenager who has earned a bad reputation for sleeping around. When in fact, what she had done was help protect a gay friend by building up a lie, a damaging lie no doubt, but it was a lie all the same. As a result of her decision, she has to acknowledge what she has not done in front of her peers. One day, tired of the drama and taking inspiration from her studies, she pins a badge of the letter ‘A’ for adulterer, just as the female protagonist was forced to do in The Scarlet Letter. Things unravel from there, and how.
Apart from the seemingly ‘fun’ attitude of the movie towards its subject, the film also draws attention to what we now know as ‘slut-shaming.’ In a revelatory scene from the movie, Patricia Clarkson’s character tells her daughter Olive (Emma Stone) that she should take refuge in the fact that she too had slept around with a lot of people when she was younger. Olive’s response is of both surprise and shock. One, because that is not the kind of thing you expect to hear from a parent, but also because she was shocked at the act itself, the fact that her mother actually had sex with multiple people. Although shown wise beyond her years, this sequence tells us that at the end of it all, Olive is just a normal American teenager. One of the best lines in the film also shows up in the said scene when the mother comforts the daughter by saying, “You will handle this the same way I did, with an incontrovertible sense of humour.”
Hollywood Rewind: Romeo + Juliet | Coraline | Gone Girl | Starship Troopers | Bridget Jones’s Diary | Almost Famous | Inglourious Basterds | Beginners | Girl With a Pearl Earring | Juno | Nightcrawler | Little Miss Sunshine | Moana | The Sound of Music | Benny and Joon | Crimson Peak | The Holiday | My Blueberry Nights | The Help | Mission Impossible | Chef | Revolutionary Road | I’m Not There | Donnie Brasco | Sicario | Edge of Tomorrow | Spy Kids | 1998’s Godzilla | The Others | Phone Booth | Wild | Scream | The Godfather Part II | One Fine Day | True Romance | Little Women | Face-off | Pulp Fiction | Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon | The Age of Innocence | Mean Girls | Die Hard | Never Been Kissed | Citizen Kane | Kill Bill Volume I | Terminator 2 Judgment Day | Titanic | Heat | Home Alone | Jerry Maguire | Brief Encounter | The Truman Show | The Deer Hunter | The Shining | Clueless | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off | Blue Velvet | Taxi Driver | The Lord of the Rings I | Zero Dark Thirty | The Godfather | Say Anything | Warm Bodies | Bright Star | Malcolm X | Stardust | Red Eye | Notting Hill | Fargo | The Virgin Suicides | The Breakfast Club | Enchanted | Walk the Line | Blood Diamond | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Mortal Kombat | Bridges of Madison County | Edward Scissorhands | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | She’s Gotta Have It | Ever After | The Devil Wears Prada | The Matrix | Creed | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | Her | Dead Poets Society | Sleepless in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before Sunset | School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | Tangled | Meet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles
And isn’t that true? Although difficult to always do, but when one tries to look at a bad situation with a sense of humour, your attitude to think clearly and look at the bigger picture comes through. That doesn’t solve the problem, but it does make something sad easier to deal with.
In related news, those who have watched Easy A, we have some good news for you! A spin-off is in the works, which will reportedly be directed by Bert Royal (who penned the original script). Although we don’t yet know if Emma Stone will return. *Fingers crossed.*
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