By Nick Hofmeister
Staff reporter

If you’ve ever been unhappy with your social status, maybe you should consider spreading some rumors about yourself. That’s the method Olive Penderghast, played by Emma Stone, uses to propel herself from nobody into one of the most popular girls in school in the comedy “Easy A,” directed by Will Gluck. Olive decides to start a rumor which describes a sexual encounter she had with an imaginary college freshman.

She uses her new reputation to help her gay friend, Brandon, played by Dan Byrd, escape the torment of homophobic bullies by pretending to sleep with him. Other boys hear about what she has done and begin to ask her to do them a similar favor.  Olive’s popularity continues to grow, and soon she becomes the enemy of the most popular girl in school.

Olive compares her life to that of Hester Prynne in “The Scarlet Letter.” Olive sticks a red “A” to her clothes, which in the book represents the adulterous acts that Hester commits. As the story progresses, Olive finds that her reputation has degraded too much and she becomes desperate to recover some of her dignity.

“Easy A” is a lighthearted comedy that draws its humor from awkward situations. Olive learns that she needs to take responsibility for her own actions instead of trusting her reputation to rumors spread by other people. Even though the film is a comedy, it stresses important personality qualities such as responsibility and accountability. The screenplay, written by Bert V. Royal keeps the interactions between characters lighthearted and clever. I give it four out of five stars and recommend that if you can’t see it in theaters, try to catch it on DVD.

Nick Hofmeister is a junior majoring in new media. You may e-mail him at