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Vol. LXIV, No. 38
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

YOU SHOULDN’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU OVERHEAR: Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes, left) exhibited her disdain for Olive Penderghast’s (Emma Stone) wanton behavior by spreading the rumor that she overheard, about Olive’s made-up story about her loss of virginity one weekend, throughout their high school.

Easy A: Chaste Coed Gives Herself a Bad Rep in High School

Kam Williams

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) was a social zero at Ojai North High School until the fateful Monday morning she inadvertently started a rumor about herself. Too embarrassed to admit to her best friend, Rhiannon (Aly Michalka), that she’d just spent another weekend home alone, she impulsively made up a story about losing her virginity to a college man.

What Olive didn’t know, as she embellished the details of her imaginary weekend, was that the school prude, Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes), overheard everything. Marianne, who was proud of her pledge to remain chaste until marriage, began repeating the made-up story all over the school, thereby giving Olive a bad reputation.

Curiously, instead of trying to restore her tarnished image, Olive decides to embrace her new persona. Inspired by Hester Prynne, the protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Olive even sews a red “A” on the corset that she wore to a house party thrown by a classmate.

There, in full view of everyone, she apparently goes to a bedroom to have a loud session that presumably involves having sex with her friend Brandon (Dan Byrd). It isn’t long before others are lining up to embellish their macho images with the help of Olive, as word spreads that, for the right price, she’s willing to let any boy claim that he’s slept with her.

Directed by Will Gluck (Fired Up!), and, thanks to a script which is very funny, Easy A is actually enjoyable in spite of the political incorrectness of the humor.

Credit goes to Emma Stone for making the role of Olive credible if not quite empathetic. The principal supporting cast, which includes Malcolm McDowell, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church, and seasoned comedians Lisa Kudrow, Amanda Bynes, and Fred Armisen, make major contributions to the film.

Excellent (4 stars). Rated PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, drug use, and teen sexuality. Running time: 92 Minutes. Distributor: Screen Gems.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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