Tag Archives: romantic comedy

Easy A ain’t no Saved, and other thoughts

30 Sep

Why hello, blogosphere. Most likely no one will ever read this, but I guess that’s kind of fine, because aren’t blogs really just for people who have something to say to get it off their chests? Also, I’ve attempted this blog thing at least 5 times previously and it’s never worked. However. Two of my hilltopper alum buddies now have fancy grownup blogs so I thought I’d give this a try!

Tonight I went to see Easy A with some members of my cohort. Perhaps Theodor Adorno is right with his ideas about free time, although instead of being tied to business and a job which my free time is tethered to, I am tethered to graduate school and every spare moment is spent trying to turn my brain back into an unaware, useless blob. Obviously, from the title of this entry, that doesn’t work so well.

I saw the trailer for Easy A and knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was a premise that could go the way of Saved! or of every other annoying, traditional christian moral-soaked teenage romantic comedies. I had very high hopes that it would be the former, but then I also thought Post Grad would be worth $9. Easy A is an interesting interpretation of The Scarlet Letter where, as the trailer shows the viewers before they even decide to purchase a ticket, Hester (in this case, Olive) hasn’t even had an affair. Instead, she’s a girl who makes a few misguided decisions while trying to help herself and some other people out. Here’s how I hoped the plot would go:

Olive accidentally becomes known for being a slut because she’s trying to help her gay friend out. She then goes on to help lots of nerds make their reputations better through false hook up accounts. The super intense conservative Christians get all shamey, and then the whole school turns into a slut-shaming high school battlefield. Olive’s parents are supportive of Olive leading whatever kind of (safe) sex life she desires and give awkward parent anecdotes about their own pasts without any moral undertones or references to lack of “self esteem”(seriously?! no, seriously?!). Though Olive is tempted to give in to the feeling that she is, indeed, a whore and should hate herself, she realizes (after getting angry to some angsty girl music and maybe throwing some corsets around in her room and having a good, healthy cry) that slut-shaming is sexist and wrong. Yes, she didn’t actually have any of the sex, but that shouldn’t matter. The boy she meets (because it wouldn’t be a rom com without it, I mean hell, even Saved! gave us a happy ending) doesn’t explain his continued affection for her in terms of who he knows she “isn’t”(i.e. that she didn’t sleep with the whole school) but instead affirms a sex-positive view that maintains that a person can be awesome, worthwhile, and full of self-confidence while being involved with multiple (consensual, safe) partners. The end!

Le sigh. But I guess one of my friends was right when she said that it did the best it could for the audience it addressed. Saved! wasn’t exactly a blockbuster, and so if Easy A wanted to profit like the average romantic comedy it couldn’t be anything other than a slightly provocative but still conservative account of female sexuality. I mean, what if this girl had started wearing corsets with an A on them, claimed her sexuality, and not started to “hate” herself? Why, we’d have female sexual power running rampant! And as Audre Lorde and many of her sisters before and after have pointed out, we just can’t have that.

I have GOT to go to bed (although with my luck I’ll still just lie awake until 4), but if I remember to blog tomorrow, remind me to talk about veganism and the UN. Yes, they go together.

Hopefully one day the title of my blog will be “OMGSH NATHAN FILLION TWEETED BACK!” but until then, I tweet on.

In sisterhood,

meDo you see all the slut-shaming floating around her face?