If you’re a fan of witty high school dramas with a dash of pop culture homages galore, then Emma Stone’s Easy A is a must-watch film that should be at the top of your Netflix queue.
Starring the talented Emma Stone in her breakout role—Roger Ebert called her “a star”—this comic gem is set to bid adieu to Netflix on September 1st, so make sure to catch it before it leaves the streaming platform.
Released in 2010, Easy A quickly became an essential high school cinematic experience, and for good reason. The film strikes a perfect balance between comedy, nostalgia, and modern romance.
It manages to do all that while delivering a fresh take on the classic trope of rumours gone awry in a high school setting.
What is Easy A about?
Easy A follows high school student Olive Penderghast (Stone) as she inadvertently sparks a series of rumours about her sexual experiences while trying to hide the fact that she has none. Classic.
Embracing her newfound notoriety, she pretends to have engaged in numerous encounters only to help others with their social standing. But as the rumours spiral out of control, Olive uses the situation to challenge societal perceptions and hypocrisy. Seizing the opportunity to overcome her social anonymity, Olive even sews a scarlet letter “A” on her wardrobe—a nod to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Until, of course, it gets too much for her.
However, the movie doesn’t confine its nods to literature to just Hawthorne. At a certain juncture, Olive makes a reference to her predicament, quipping, “Judy Blume should have given me a heads-up on that.”
Another instance sees her discussing Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. With a wry smile, she asserts that no one she knows would ever run off with a “big black man.” When the character Brandon (Dan Byrd) precisely does that towards the story’s conclusion, Olive playfully remarks, “I guess I owe Mark Twain an apology.” The film strengthens this link by portraying Brandon in bed with his African-American partner, both watching a black-and-white movie adaptation of the novel on a laptop.
Emma Stone shines in her portrayal of Olive, a smart and sarcastic high school student any John Hughes stan would aspire to become.
Directed by Will Gluck, Easy A brilliantly navigates the minefield of teenage relationships, peer pressure, and the consequences of one’s actions. Stone’s charismatic performance carries the movie, helped by an astoundingly funny ensemble cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church, Dan Byrd, Penn Badgley, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Aly Michalka, Malcolm McDowell, and Amanda Bynes. Tucci and Clarkson as Olive’s hilariously unconventional parents only adds to its charm.
So make sure to watch Easy A before it leaves Netflix on September 1st, 2023.