Easy A is not the first teen comedy based on classic literature. Clueless was a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, 10 Things I Hate About You was based on Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew, and Cruel Intentions was a contemporary take on Dangerous Liaisons.
However, Easy A is one of the first films to adapt a classic American novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. The novel’s heroine, Hester Prynne, is found guilty of adultery (she even has a child out of wedlock with her mistress, scandalous!) every time. The novel examines the nature of trial, punishment, and ultimately redemption.
Based on that brief Scarlet Letter summary, Hawthorne’s classic novel might seem like an odd choice for a teen movie. Very few school-age people are married; How is it possible that they commit adultery? This is where the film takes some serious creative license. The film’s protagonist, Olive Pendergast (perfectly played by Emma Stone), lies to her friend about dating an older man to avoid joining her friend’s family on a camping trip. . One lie leads to another, and before she knows it, Olive’s friend is telling everyone at her school that Olive has lost her virginity.
This new information makes Olive a much more interesting social commodity at her high school, and while she doesn’t appreciate receiving attention based on a lie, she enjoys the attention for its own sake. But the attention she receives soon turns out to be a double-edged sword; Olive quickly falls victim to that old virgin/whore cliché, and since her schoolmates believe she’s no longer a virgin, it’s obvious what her new role should be. Before she knows it, the lies are piling up until the people at Olive’s school believe that she is a real teenage prostitute.
Instead of standing up and telling the truth about what really happened (or didn’t happen) with her fictional date, Olive, who just happens to be reading The Scarlet Letter in her English class (how convenient), decides to follow Nathaniel’s lead. Hawthorne. and sew a red letter “A” on all of her clothing, a show of solidarity with the martyred Hester Prynne and a sly jab at all of her classmates, who are meant to represent Scarlet’s cruel and judgmental characters. Letter.
The Scarlet Letter ends with the death of Hester Prynne; a fate no movie buff wants to befall a pretty high school girl, so while Hester leads a humble life of charity work, Olive achieves redemption by telling the truth about herself to her entire school in a live broadcast on Internet. In fact, the entire film is told in flashback as part of Olive’s confession. Even though it seems like everyone at her school (and her town) is watching her webcast and her reputation has been restored, the really wonderful thing about Olive is that, in that moment, she doesn’t care anymore. what they think