Emma Stone, Penn Badgley
Stone plays Olive, a high school girl with a fairly low profile. When a rumur gets out about how she lost her virginity, she enjoys a lot of attention from the whole school. The attention starts to turn sour when the rumors escalate. However, she decides to use her new promiscuous status to her social and financial advantage – she starts charging for fake sex.
Olive finds that her situation somewhat mirrors Hester in “The Scarlet Letter” which she is studying in English. By being overtly sexual, she is labelled an outcast. So she plays with this parallel until she takes it too far – her reputation is in tatters, she loses her best friend, and no-one wants to date her. Stone (see Zombieland) does a brilliant job in this role.
There are great supporting roles by people like Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as Olive’s hip parents, as well a Lisa Kudrow and Thomas Haden Church as her teachers. Rom com themes are shelved when we enter the high school arena, this is a realm that has themes all of its own – best friends, relationships, peer pressure, being cool, how to get it all together, how to survive. Never fear, all works out in the end. This is an enjoyable film, but probably for the younger amongst us. I might get a hold of “The Scarlet Letter” though.