Easy A

Ok, I have two things to admit. I saw Easy A, and it was actually my second try because somebody I know (me) fell asleep the first time around. I was on vacation in California last October, for my friend Kathy’s baby shower, and we went to the drive-in for a double feature of chick flicks. It had nothing to do with Easy A, I was just out like a light after watching Life As We Know It.

I hadn’t heard much about the film at that time, but  watched it this week knowing audiences responded favorably.

Olive (Emma Stone) is living in a rumor mill about her fictional sexual escapades — most of which she made up herself to bump up her social status.

She also tests how far people will go to take advantage of her — rumors or not — and then tells the truth in the end to prove she is the better person. Olive is used and betrayed by her best friend, and countless teen boys also looking to improve their image as one of her suitors. Those who didn’t like her in high school anyway take it to the next level, such as Amanda Bynes’ popular and very religious character Marianne.
As with just about every movie in this genre, there’s a moral to the story, a set of quirky parents thrown in, and the main character ends up with their love interest.
Easy A resembles a mix of Saved, Juno, and Mean Girls with a touch of classics from the 1980s like Can’t Buy Me Love or Sixteen Candles.
And, in perhaps one of the most clever features of Easy A, the film specifically references plot lines from the John Hughes era.
After watching Easy A, my friends and I discussed whether it and the like will carry a similar legacy as those from the 1980s.
I am guessing since Easy A included scenes from several 1980s films — Say Anything, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Can’t Buy Me Love — that it will not get to that level on its own.
At least the film’s creators are honest and know those classics hold a place in the hearts of every girl, from their teens and beyond.
The 1980s were an influential decade and I’ll admit in high school I too wanted Jake Ryan (or my crush at the time) to show up at my house with a sports car or John Cusack with his radio outside blaring Peter Gabriel.
All cheese aside in those stories, I do think they somehow shaped women in my generation’s expectation of romance when they meet “the one.” Sure, I’m a grown up and I realize it was all just a movie, but I will now know that kind of chivalry when I see it.
I’d like to talk to someone who is a teenager now in 10 or 20 years for their take on films of this generation and memorable pop culture experiences.
If they haven’t seen any of John Hughes’ work or other films from the 1980s, I’ll recommend they start there and then catch up on Easy A.
Because, if not for its homage to the decade I was born, Easy A would be down a grade for me.


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