In this charming, critically acclaimed tale of rumors and reputation, Olive (Emma Stone), an average high school student, sees her below-the-radar existence turn around overnight once she decides to use the school's gossip grapevine to advance her social standing. Now her classmates (Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka) are turning against her and the school board is becoming concerned, including her favorite teacher (Thomas Haden Church) and the distracted guidance counselor (Lisa Kudrow). With the support of her hilariously idiosyncratic parents (Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson) and a little help from a long-time crush (Penn Badgley), Olive attempts to take on her notorious new identity and crush the rumor mill once and for all.
Easy A is a frothy, fizzy, and funny romantic comedy for teens--and adults will love it too. Not since Clueless has a high-school heroine been able to delight both audiences, and Easy A's Olive (the sparkling Emma Stone) is a stellar young star. But Easy A benefits from a great script by writer Bert V. Royal and assured direction by TV veteran Will Gluck. Olive is a smart girl happy to stay in the shadows of high school, until her good friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd), who's gay, begs her to pretend to have sex with him so the rest of the school will stop picking on him. She obliges, but soon she picks up not one but two reputations--as the girl who sleeps around, and, on the down-low, as the girl who'll pretend to sleep with a guy so he won't be branded a virgin. Soon Easy A's complications pile up higher than the entrance of Olive's high school, and her two story lines, neither of which reflects the real Olive, take on lives of their own. There are backlashes and blacklists and repercussions galore. "I always thought pretending to lose my virginity would feel a little more special," muses Olive. "Judy Blume should have prepared me for that." Stone is accompanied by a strong supporting cast: Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her bemused parents, Gossip Girl's dreamy Penn Badgley, the freshly unretired Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, and Malcolm McDowell. And it's to the cast's and the writer's credit that the audience is kept engaged, and guessing, till the very end. Easy A should be awarded exactly that. --A.T. Hurley