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Is Easy A a True Story?

October 31, 2020
4 min read

‘Easy A’ is a teen movie that showcases the story of a 17-year-old high schooler, Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), who unintentionally starts a rumor about herself. She lies to her best friend, Rhiannon, about losing her virginity to dodge a trip Rhiannon had planned with her parents. When the lie makes the headlines at Ojai North High School, her reputation goes for a toss. Tired of people’s gossip, Olive challenges them till things get out of hand. There is only one version of the truth, and she is determined to show people that she is more than what people make her be.

Becoming one of Emma Stone’s defining works, ‘Easy A’ gained a lot of appreciation by critics and audiences, especially for her performance. Directed by Will Gluck, the film is set in Ojai, California, and teens can relate to many aspects of the high-school-based narrative. In case you are wondering if ‘Easy A’ is inspired by real events, we are here to put those doubts to rest!

Is Easy A Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Easy A’ is not based on a true story. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book ‘The Scarlett Letter’ is a heavy influence on the storyline. In the movie, Olive wears a red ‘A’ on her clothes, and she watches the film called ‘Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe,’ which means ‘The Scarlett Letter.’ The difference being that here, she did not do what she is blamed for and is taking the hit for other people.

The story of ‘Easy A’ is basically about miscommunication and the dangers of being inauthentic. It is very relatable to most people, whether in high school or not. At some point in life, we have all been in a situation that gets out of hand, although it begins from a seemingly harmless lie. It also shows how easy it can be to build and destroy reputations because people can be fickle-minded. A seed of doubt or suspicion is a hard thing to shake off.

Rumors have destroyed people’s lives, be it in school, workplace, or even a relationship. Although Olive deals with her situation with grit and sass, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. The film also touches upon bullying, a common and relatable issue, especially in high school. Situations like this are not entirely unheard of. With technology advancing, information travels faster, and it tends to stick on for longer as there is no dearth of sharing platforms on the web-space.

Ultimately, Olive uses the webcam to share her truth with the world, through which she manages to address many other issues. Another film that is based on the premise of cyber-bullying and the extent to which it can go is Leo Gabriadze’s found-footage supernatural horror called ‘Unfriended. It revolves around a suicide that stems as a result of bullying, damage of which is amplified by the use of the internet.

‘Easy A’ is also a satire on the notion of virginity. Although the film is partially based on Hawthorne’s book published in 1850, people use virginity to define a woman even in the present times. This includes unhealthy notions about sex and sexuality that prevail in society. In the film, we see how Olive’s little lie becomes a defining factor for her image because a person is considered different by the fact of whether or not they have had sex.

Another issue that gets highlighted in the film is the discomfort towards homosexuality as a society. Olive’s friend asks her to fake having sex with him just to let people believe that he is straight. All of these themes are so relevant today that we resonate with the characters and their journey.

Read More: Where Was Easy A Filmed?

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