Easy A directed by Will Gluck (movie)

Gluck, W. (Director). (2010). Easy A. [Motion picture]. United States: Sony Pictures.

Genera: Humor

Reading level/ interest age: 13+ (movie rating), 15+ (interest level)

Plot summary:

Olive is just a normal high school girl with normal friends. One day, at a house party, Olive is approached by a gay friend, Brandon, who asks her to do him a favor. He is being picked on by others at school for being gay and wants everyone to think he is straight. Olive agrees to help and they pretend to have sex with others listening outside the door. Brandon emerges to loud cheers and pats on the back but Olive is regarded with disgust. As the school year progresses, Olive is approached by other boys who heard Brandon’s secret. She grudgingly agrees to help improve their reputations which only damages hers further. A church group begins to single Olive out as a harlot but instead of giving in to the pressure, she fights back. Olive begins to wear a scarlet letter “A” on all of her clothing and starts dressing provocatively. This only complicates things further when teachers begin asking her about her sexual habits. Olive suddenly realizes that her charade may be getting out of hand but she is pressured to keep it secret by all those she has helped.

Reader’s annotation:

Olive decides to help her gay friend out by pretending to sleep with him at a party. Her plan horribly backfires as other shy and gay boys approach her to help them out too. When the entire school begins to think Olive is promiscuous, she begins to fight back.

Information about the author:

“Will Gluck is a filmmaker with an authentic voice who usually writes the material he directs and creates projects that have something to say about popular culture in a unique way. After Fired Up, his first foray into the high school genre, met with a less than enthusiastic reception, he was wary of doing another high school movie again. But that changed after he read Easy A, Bert Royal’s sharp and funny script about Olive Penderghast, a smart high school senior who acquires a sudden reputation as the campus slut after a little white lie she tells hits the social network sites with lightning speed and takes on a life of its own.

"Gluck is currently in production on his next feature, Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Woody Harrelson, Patricia Clarkson, and Richard Jenkins. He is also lined up to direct Rehab from a screenplay by Sam Laybourne and has written the comedy Taildraggers about a group of young Alaskan pilots who face off against a local taxi company. On the small screen, he is currently developing an untitled show about the Catskills gas rush for HBO with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo” (Roberts, 2011).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       Would you go as far as Olive did to protect a friend?
2.       Do you think the school overreacted to Olive’s persona?

Critical evaluation:

Easy A is a ridiculous Scarlett Letter redo that will have viewers laughing and cheering for Olive. The heroine’s downfall is something every teenage girl is afraid of. No one wants to be labeled as a slut and Olive is all the more loveable because throughout it all, she remains steadfast… and a virgin.  Instead of being ashamed of her poor reputation, Olive does not let the rumors get to her and fights back against them. She is a great remodel for young girls and Emma Stone’s sarcasm keeps the tone light. Gossip and rumors eventually bring Olive to the attention of her teachers who attempt to thwart her wayward actions. Incensed, things only get more complicated as Olive is alienated from both faculty and friends. Things begin to spiral out of control until Olive finally decides to come clean though a weblog video. Her use of technology is something that teens can relate to and was a rather innovative idea to include in the film. Teens can look up to Olive as a role model because of her strength through adversity, unwillingness to give in to nasty rumors, and desire to protect her friends.

Challenge issues:

·         Slut shaming
·         Promiscuity

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

Easy A is a funny movie about the ridiculous struggles a high school girl goes through to help her friend fit in. The movie contains good themes of helping others out, self-esteem, and friendship.


Roberts, S. (2011). Director Will Gluck Interview EASY A. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from

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