Easy A
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWill Gluck
Produced by
  • Zanne Devine
  • Will Gluck
Written byBert V. Royal
Music byBrad Segal
CinematographyMichael Grady
Edited bySusan Littenberg
Screen Gems
Olive Bridge Entertainment
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • September 11, 2010 (2010-09-11) (TIFF)
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million[2]
Box office$75 million[3]

Easy A (stylized as easy A) is a 2010 American teen comedy-drama film directed by Will Gluck, written by Bert V. Royal and starring Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church, Dan Byrd, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Aly Michalka, and Malcolm McDowell. The screenplay was partially inspired by the 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Shot at Screen Gems studios and in Ojai, California, the film was released on September 17, 2010, received positive reviews with praise for Stone's performance, and was a major financial success, grossing $75 million worldwide against a budget of $8 million.


The story is narrated by Olive Penderghast, a 17-year-old girl living in Ojai, California, speaking into her webcam.

Olive lies to her best friend Rhiannon Abernathy about going on a date in order to get out of camping with Rhiannon's hippie parents. Instead, she hangs around the house all weekend listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine", which is played by a musical greeting card from her grandmother. The following Monday, pressed by Rhiannon, Olive lies about losing her virginity to a college boy. Marianne Bryant, a girl with a devout Christian faith whom Olive considers to be prudish, overhears her telling the lie and soon spreads it throughout the school. The school's church group run by Marianne decides Olive will be their next project. Olive confides the truth to her friend Brandon, and he understands because others bully him because of his homosexuality. He later asks Olive to pretend to sleep with him so that he will be accepted by everyone as a "straight stud".

Olive agrees to help him and they pretend to have sex at a party. After a fight with Rhiannon over her new identity as a "dirty skank", Olive decides to counteract the harassment by embracing her new image as the school tramp. She begins to wear more provocative clothing and, inspired by The Scarlet Letter, stitches a red "A" onto her clothing. Boys who usually have had no luck with girls in the past now beg Olive to increase their popularity by saying they have had sex with her, in exchange for gift cards to various stores. This in turn increases her reputation. Things get worse when Micah, Marianne's boyfriend who has had to repeat several grades, contracts chlamydia from sleeping with Mrs. Griffith, the school guidance counselor, and blames Olive. As Mr. Griffith (Mrs. Griffith's husband) is her favorite teacher, Olive agrees to the lie to spare their marriage.

Marianne's friends from the church youth group, which now includes Rhiannon, begin harassing Olive in order to get her to leave school. After an ill-fated date with Anson, a boy who wants to pay her to actually sleep with him and not just pretend she did, Olive reconnects with Todd, her old love interest, who is also the school's mascot, a woodchuck. Todd tells her that he does not believe the rumors because he remembers when she lied for him when he was not ready for his first kiss years ago. Olive now has a change of heart and begins to ask everyone she lied for to help her out by telling the truth, but Brandon and Micah have abruptly left town, and with their newfound popularity, no one else wants to tell. When Mrs. Griffith also refuses to tell the truth, Olive threatens to expose her affair, but Mrs. Griffith snidely says no one would believe her. Out of spite, Olive then immediately tells Mr. Griffith, who believes her and separates from his wife.

After a friendly talk with her open-minded mother Rosemary, Olive comes up with a plan to finally get everything out in the open. She does a song-and-dance number at a school pep rally to get people's attention to watch her via webcast. Olive texts Rhiannon, apologizing for lying to her. As she is finishing up her webcast, Todd comes by on a riding mower, serenades her by playing a recording of "Don't You (Forget About Me)", and asks her to come outside. She signs off by saying that she may lose her virginity to Todd sooner or later, but proudly declaring that "it is nobody's goddamn business". She goes outside to meet him, they begin to make out, and the two are shown riding off on the lawn mower.




Screenwriter Bert V. Royal claims to have written the entire screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days.[4] Royal's plan was to adapt three classic works into films and to set them at the same high school, so that some characters would appear in multiple films. Besides The Scarlet Letter, which was the source material for Easy A, Royal wanted to adapt Cyrano de Bergerac and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.[4] Natasha Bedingfield's song "Pocketful of Sunshine", which becomes a running joke in the film, was not in Royal's original script. He envisioned "Olive", a track from Ken Nordine's 1966 album Colors, to play during Olive's weekend montage (which introduces the song).[4] Director Will Gluck's favorite film is Ferris Bueller's Day Off and has multiple homages to it in the film (Olive's shower Mohawk, "never had one lesson"), among many other John Hughes references.[5] According to Royal, although the word "fuck" appeared 47 times in the original draft, which was written as an R-rated comedy, all occurrences were cut from the final film. However, Gluck shot two versions of many scenes, both with and without the coarser language.[4] Although the film was cut down for a wider audience, the film still obtained a 15 rating in the United Kingdom.[6]


Gluck credits Stone with improvising the line about being a "Gossip Girl in the Sweet Valley of Traveling Pants".[7] The entire film was shot in Ojai, California, using Panavision's Genesis and later filmized. Not a single film set was used; even the houses in the film belong to Ojai residents. The school used as "Ojai North High School" in the film is Nordhoff High School, and the end credits are filmed on Fordyce Road, both located in Ojai, California.


The soundtrack was released by Madison Gate Records on September 14, 2010, and is available via iTunes. It features tracks from Jessie J, Lenka, Natasha Bedingfield, Kardinal Offishall, and Cary Brothers. Other songs in the film but not on the soundtrack album are from OneRepublic, Angus & Julia Stone, The Dollyrots, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Pussycat Dolls.[8]

Easy A (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 14, 2010
GenrePop, hip hop, rock, punk rock, new wave
LabelMadison Gate Records
1."Change of Seasons"Sweet Thing3:46
2."Bad Before Good"Day One3:50
3."Trouble Is a Friend"Lenka3:37
4."If You Were Here"Cary Brothers3:49
5."15 Minutes"The Yeah You's3:30
6."Cupid Shoot Me"Remi Nicole3:43
8."Don't You (Forget About Me)"AM4:23
9."We Go Together"I Heart Homework3:17
10."Numba 1 (Tide Is High)"Kardinal Offishall3:42
11."Perfect Picture"Carlos Bertonatti3:06
12."The Wolf"Miniature Tigers2:35
13."Sexy Silk"Jessie J2:43
14."When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade"The Boy Least Likely To3:42
15."Pocketful of Sunshine"Natasha Bedingfield3:24
16."Don't You (Forget About Me)"Simple Minds4:23


Emma Stone and Penn Badgley at the film's Toronto premiere.
Emma Stone and Penn Badgley at the film's Toronto premiere.

Easy A had its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[9]

Home media

Easy A was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 21, 2010.[10] The DVD features a gag reel, Emma Stone's audition footage, an audio commentary with director Gluck and Stone, and previews. Blu-ray exclusive bonus features include: The Making of Easy A, The School of Pop Culture: Movies of the '80s, Vocabulary of Hilarity and a trivia track.


Box office

The film opened on September 17, 2010, and grossed $6,787,163 on its opening day and $17,734,040 in its opening weekend, placing second behind The Town on both figures, and already making back more than double the film's slim $8 million budget. This was in line with expectations from Sony of an opening weekend take of around $15 million.[2] The film grossed a total of $58,401,464 in the United States and Canada plus $16,624,752 in international markets for a worldwide total of $75,026,216, earning its budget back more than nine times, making it a huge financial success.[3]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 189 reviews, with an average rating of 7.08/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "It owes a huge debt to older (and better) teen comedies, but Easy A proves a smart, witty showcase for its irresistibly charming star, Emma Stone."[11] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, assigned the film a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[13]

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half out of four stars, writing, "Easy A offers an intriguing middle ground to the absolute of sexual abstinence: Don't sleep with anybody, but say you did. It's a funny, engaging comedy that takes the familiar but underrated Emma Stone and makes her, I believe, a star."[14] Richard Corliss of Time Magazine named Emma Stone's performance one of the ten best film performances of 2010, writing that "Stone lends winning maturity and a gift for making sassy dialogue sound natural. This 22-year-old is an actress-personality — a star — around whom Hollywood could build some pretty good movies".[15] John Griffiths from Us Weekly gave the film two and a half stars out of four; he praised Stone, stating that "With her husky voice and fiery hair, Stone is spectacular, echoing early Lindsay Lohan", but also added that "The story is thin, and the laughs meager".[16]


Ceremony Category Recipients Result
Artios Awards[17] Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Feature – Studio or Independent Comedy Lisa Miller Katz Nominated
The Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film Easy A Nominated
Best Comedy Actress Emma Stone Nominated
Best Comedy Director Will Gluck Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards Best Comedy Film Easy A Won
Dorian Awards Unsung Film of the Year Won
EDA Awards Actress Defying Age and Ageism Patricia Clarkson Nominated
Eddie Awards Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Susan Littenberg Nominated
Empire Awards Best Comedy Easy A Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film – Wide Release Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Emma Stone Nominated
Golden Schmoes Awards Best Comedy of the Year Easy A Nominated
Biggest Surprise of the Year Nominated
Best Actress of the Year Emma Stone Nominated
Breakthrough Performance of the Year Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance[18] Nominated
Best Comedic Performance[19] Won
Best Line from a Movie[20] Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Movie Easy A Nominated
Russian National Movie Awards Best Foreign Comedy Movie Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Comedy Nominated
Special Merit (for best scene, cinematic technique or other memorable aspect or moment) For the John Hughes tribute near the beginning. Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[21][22] Choice Movie: Romantic Comedy Easy A Won
Choice Movie Actor: Romantic Comedy Penn Badgley Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Romantic Comedy Emma Stone Won
Choice Movie: Female Scene Stealer Aly Michalka Nominated


It was announced on June 20, 2019, that a spinoff film of Easy A is in development, which will be written and directed by Bert V. Royal.[23]


  1. ^ "EASY A (15)". British Board of Film Classification. August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Fritz, Ben (September 16, 2010). "Movie projector: 'Easy A' expected to lead 'The Town,' 'Devil,' 'Alpha and Omega'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Easy A (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bert V. Royal Interview with Creative Screenwriting Magazine Podcast, September 14, 2010". Creativescreenwritingmagazine.blogspot.com. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  5. ^ Krystal Clark (October 14, 2010). "Interview: Director Will Gluck for Easy A". ScreenCrave. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "EASY A rated 15 by the BBFC". Bbfc.co.uk. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  7. ^ Jen Yamato (September 18, 2010). "Easy A Director Will Gluck on Teen Sex and '80s Fantasy Boyfriends". Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  8. ^ "Easy A (2010)" – via www.imdb.com.
  9. ^ Corliss, Richard (September 17, 2010). "Easy A: We ♥ Emma Stone". Time.
  10. ^ "'Easy A' DVD Release Date Announced". BuzzFocus. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  11. ^ "Easy A (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  12. ^ "Easy A reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  13. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Roger Ebert (September 15, 2010). "Review: "Easy A"". Chicago Sun-Times.
  15. ^ Corliss, Richard (December 9, 2010). "The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - Emma Stone as Olive in Easy A". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  16. ^ US Weekly - Issue 829 - Dated January 3, 2011.
  17. ^ "2011 Artios Award Nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Casting". Casting Society of America. 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  18. ^ "Best Female Performance". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  19. ^ "Best Comedic Performance". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  20. ^ "Best Line from a Movie". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  21. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2011: The Winners". Elena Gorgan. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  22. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2010: Second (Giant) Wave Of Nominees Announced!". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  23. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 20, 2019). "'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2019.