Feature

Easy A

Will Gluck's comedy is a contemporary take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, set in high school.

Directed by Will Gluck(PG-13)

***

As high school comedies go, Easy A more than makes the grade, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. Directed by Will Gluck, the film does for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter what Clueless did for Jane Austen’s Emma, updating its essential elements to fit present-day adolescents. When Olive (Emma Stone) stages a lurid tableau faking the loss of her virginity, her life begins to mirror a plot from lit class, with Olive in the role of Hawthorne’s social outcast, Hester Prynne. Bert V. Royal’s observant script “earns adulation for originality, hilarity, and verve.” Unfortunately this film, though “a charmer,” is not as clever or funny as it wants to be, said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Easy A “bites off more than it can chew,” launching comic riffs on everything from gay teens to social media, and drifts away from Hawthorne’s themes. Easy A isn’t meant to be a literal adaptation of the novel, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. Even leaving aside its literary pedigree, the film stands on its own as an up-to-date tale that “challenges all of our oh-so-serious nostrums about teenagers, sex, and family life.”

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