Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) is a down-to-earth, straight-A student, until a little white lie sends her life spiralling out of control. When best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) mistakenly jumps to the conclusion that Olive has lost her virginity, she decides to go along with the story, spicing it up with a few naughty embellishments. Unfortunately for Olive, disapproving Christian Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes) overhears, and spreads the rumour all over school.
For a while, the previously anonymous Olive enjoys her status boost. So, when gay friend Brandon (Dan Byrd) asks her to concoct a second pretend tryst to help him fit in, she agrees. But as more and more male students realise that lying about sleeping with Olive will enhance their cred, her reputation plumbs new depths, and even Rhiannon begins to turn against her.
Stone gives a winning performance in this razorsharp teen comedy from the director of Friends With Benefits.
Loosely based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter (which, incidentally, Olive and her classmates are studying), Easy A follows in the footsteps of Clueless (Emma) and 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) in deftly bringing a classic work of literature up to date.
While there's wit and warmth in abundance, it's Stone's charmingly goofy turn that lifts the film from a passable B to an A-grade triumph. In a top cast, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci play perhaps the world's coolest parents, and Thomas Haden-Church, Lisa Kudrow and Malcolm McDowell are good value as members of the school's faculty.