Easy A

source: imdb.com

Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, John Hughes did not direct my life.” –Olive Penderghast (Easy A, 2010)

I might even lose my virginity to him. I don’t know when it will happen. You know, maybe in five minutes, or tonight, or six months from now, or maybe on the night of our wedding. But the really amazing thing is, it is nobody’s goddamn business.” –Olive Penderghast (Easy A, 2010)

Ironically, we were studying The Scarlet Letter, but isn’t that always the way? The books you read in class always seems to have a strong connection with whatever angsty adolescent drama is being recounted. I consider this.” –Olive Penderghast (Easy A, 2010)

Title                : Easy A
Director           : Will Gluck
Starring           : Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes
Genre              : comedy, teen drama
Distributor       : Screen Gems
Release date    : 17 September 2010
Running time    : 92 minutes

"Easy A" movie poster - source: imdb.com

High school never ends, they say. Well, talking about high school life, or adolescence life in particular, is never getting old indeed. In the latest movie review, I’ve discussed a phenomenal teenage movie, “Mean Girls”, that shows intriguing social hierarchy, culture of cliques, gossip, and rules for popularity in high school life without the touch of new media back then. And this movie I’m about to discuss now brings the same spirit, but of course, with the addition of new media usage and how it affects teenagers life in high school. It’s “Easy A” for today’s Moments Of Our Lives part 2. When “Mean Girls” gives the insight from the popular and non-popular sides at the same time, “Easy A” has a little different approach; it’s not about the looks and the cliques anymore that determine the popularity of a certain person nowadays, but it’s all about how scandalous and viral people talk about them in the society. Thanks to the social media that helps news to spread faster than virus, that even an obscure nobody could become the popular ‘it’ girl just in an instant. The cliques are no longer contain of all-beauties or all-nerds. A nerd can also be a beauty at the same time, even a nerd and beauty can be in the same clique. With the influence of new media usage, “Easy A” takes us to re-examine social networking, gossip and public persons in high school life.

source: imdb.com

Take the life of Olive Penderghast (portrayed by Emma Stone) for example. It begins when she whips up a spicy white lie about losing her virginity to a college guy, just because she doesn’t want her bestfriend, Rhiannon Abernathy (Aly Michalka) to think that she’s lame for spending her weekend staying at home listening to Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine”. However, the mild exaggeration takes on a life of its own after it reaches the ears of rumor monger but a prissy and strictly religious Christian, Marianne Bryant (portrayed by Amanda Bynes). It soon spreads like a wildfire and now Olive has the reputation as the easiest lay in school. And then comes Brandon (Dan Byrd), an outcast who often got bullied because of his homosexuality. Olive confides the truth about the lie to him, giving him the idea to ask Olive to pretend to sleep with him so that he will be accepted by everyone. Though she got harassed from Marianne and even Rhiannon, Olive decides to counteract the harassment by embracing her new image as the school tramp. She begins to wear more provocative clothing and stitches a red ‘A’ (for adulterer, referring to the novel “The Scarlet Letter”) letter to everything she wears.
After Brandon, boys who usually have had no luck with girls in the past beg Olive to say they have had sex with her in order to increase their own popularity, in exchange for gift cards to various stores, in turn increasing her reputation as a ‘dirty skank’. The little white lies suddenly turn into dirty little secrets that make things get worse when Micah (Cam Gigandet), Marianne’s 22-year-old boyfriend, contracts chlamydia from sleeping with Mrs. Griffith (Lisa Kudrow), the school guidance counsellor, and blames it all on Olive. Olive agrees to lie to cover up the affair so that the marriage of her favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church), would be spared. Marianne’s religious clique, which now includes Rhiannon, begins harassing Olive in order to get her to leave school. After an ill-fated date with Anson (Jake Sandvig), a boy who wants to pay her to actually sleep with him and not just pretend she did, Olive realizes that the lies should be over and the truth has to be told. Especially that now she reconnects with Todd (portrayed by Penn Badgley), her old crush. And Todd tells her that he doesn’t believe the rumors, because he remembers when she lied for him when he was not ready for his first kiss years ago.

source: imdb.com

If you just go with it, a lie, even just a little and white, will lead into another lies. This is what the story begins with, and it marks the part one of the review: all the rumors and lies. “I started piling on lie after lie,” Olive says. And one thing to stop it is by telling the truth. No matter how ugly it is, it’s still better than the white lie, I believe. Because in high school life, there’s no such thing as dirty little secret. Olive says, again, “I told everyone! Well, actually I told one person, but you know how these things work. It’s like wildfire.” And mouth to mouth, person to person, the news become rumors, and the rumors keep getting ugly and uglier. How the rumors spread among teenagers is terrifyingly fast, like in a speed of light. And the worst thing is, the more viral it gets, the more it becomes different from the truth. Even before the existence of social media, it’s horrifying enough. So we can imagine when the social media takes part in it. Moreover, teenagers nowadays can’t seem to live without their smartphones. And it leads us to part two.
Part two: new media usage and gratification. Mr. Griffith says, “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought, but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds.” And truth to be told, that’s the basic critic said for teenagers in all over the world about how they use the new media. Not all the things are proper to be published in social media, but sadly, not all teenagers understand this. They seem to upload every single thing they do, even simple and unimportant and insignificant things like farting or buying a bottle of coke. Please, not everyone wants to read that and needs to know that. No matter how young and free-spirit we are, we have to be smart and wise in using social media. There’s nothing wrong in sharing our private thoughts via social media, and it’s effective at some point, like what Olive says, “What better way to share my private thoughts than to broadcast them on the internet?” It’s just about choice; whether you choose to be fool and reckless or smart and wise.

source: imdb.com

The choice is up to us, and there’s no such thing as too late to change your choice in this matter. Being a teenager is more about growing up rather than growing old, indeed. And this bring us to part three: the choices and the quest. Adolescence is the age when we got to decide who we’re gonna be. And our surroundings subconsciously play a significant role in affecting every decision that we make. Olive says, “People thought I was a dirty skank? Fine. I’d be the dirtiest skank they’ve ever seen.” It’s natural that other people’s opinion affect our choices, but what’s more important is how we really feel about that choice. Olive is a girl who feels comfortable all by herself, reminds me of myself, more or less. We do love hanging out, but there are times when we feel like doing nothing, just staying at home all the day and not meeting anyone, and we have no problem with being alone. What’s exactly wrong with that anyway? I personally think that as long as we feel comfortable with ourselves, that’s the most important thing about being a teenager, because most teenagers find it hard to feel comfortable with themselves.
Life is a process anyway, and adolescence is a phase. Sooner or later, there will be moments when we discover the way that makes us feel comfortable. So this is the part four: be true to yourself. Admit it, lying to other people is way lot easier than lying to ourselves, because we won’t be comfortable lying to ourselves, and it will be visible. Sometimes, being alone is the best feeling. Yet again, every girl needs her pack. A lone wolf doesn’t survive, psychologically, like what Olive says when all people in school harrassing her, “I was used to being by myself, but I had never felt more alone.” The world of adolescence is too harsh to live it all alone. Whether we become an alpha female or a loyal beta, living in a pack is way better than being a lone wolf. And to be able to blend in a pack, we gotta be true to ourselves first. When we feel comfortable with ourselves, other people can sense it too. Therefore will come people with the same frequency as ours, and we can make it all together as a pack. And having your pack, I must say, is the best thing about high school, because, just like what Olive says, “How shitty it feels to be an outcast, warranted or not.

source: imdb.com

“Easy A” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th 2010 to positive reviews from critics. A week later, it was opened in theatres and received huge financial success. The film gained critical acclaimed, with many praising Emma Stone’s performance for Olive Penderghast, as well as great cast, smart scriptwriting, and witty dialogues. The screenplay was partially inspired by the novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. On my personal list of teen movies, “Easy A” is standing tall alongside the classics “Mean Girls”, “10 Things I Hate About You”, and new-born hit “The DUFF”. Stone is spectacular in it; must say that it’s the best of her so far. The movie is funny and smart at the same time, totally my kind of movies. Katey Rich from Cinema Blend wrote, “(Easy A) provides a cinematic snapshot of the current technology-fueled speed of the rumor mill, when something tweeted or texted is automatically true, even without a shred of evidence.” Like it or not, social media has become a part of us, and of teenagers too, and “Easy A” depicts it in a light but a deep way; definitely a must-watched.

Olive: “I need to get my business in order before I drag you into it.
Todd: “What if I told you I wanna be dragged into it? I could help, maybe.
Olive: “Why now? Why are you all of a sudden into me now?
Todd: “I don’t know. I haven’t overanalyzed it, like you’re about to.
(Easy A, 2010)


0 komentar