The Easy A Script Gives Us A Glimpse Into The Life Of Olive Penderghast


Perhaps knowing that I’ve been excited about the film since a teaser trailer was released in April, a tipster sent us the first draft of the Easy A script, and now I’m more excited than ever:

Keep in mind that this is a first draft of the script, and there have undoubtedly been changes since, so this particular script is probably best seen as a work-in-progress. However, it does provide some insight into Emma Stone’s character, Olive Penderghast, a virgin who creates a “whorish” identity for herself by providing fake sexual experiences to several boys (including a gay friend who is tormented by bullies and wants to appear straight until he can get the hell out of high school) in exchange for gift certificates to her favorite stores.

The film deals with several topics, including sexuality, homophobia, religion, slut-shaming, friendship, and the dangerous, drama-filled high school rumor mill. There is something very fun and refreshing about the dialogue, in that it’s fast but not obnoxiously so, closer to the way real people—teenage girls in particular—speak. In Olive’s world, as it stands in this draft, the f-bomb is dropped liberally, and the words “cunt,” “twat” and “cum dumpster” also make appearances, though one wonders if the film’s rating (and I’m assuming they’ll go for a PG-13), might take those words out of the final draft. I sort of hope they aren’t, as the words are accompanied by discussions that give some context to their usage and perhaps point out the dehumanizing effects of a term like “cum dumpster” and how it is used for slut-shaming purposes. Olive is obviously very intelligent and perhaps mature for her age, but her dialogue comes across as true, and it’s nice that she hasn’t been dumbed down the way many teen characters are due to adults assuming that kids aren’t as bright as their on-screen counterparts.

Olive is a cross between Rory Gilmore, Cady Heron, and Veronica Sawyer: she’s very smart, willing to play the game, and she commits to her “whorish” reputation defiantly until things get a little out of control, admitting early on that she’s perhaps assumed this identity in order to fit some bizarre high school narrative wherein everyone has to play to extremes to be noticed. There is something very honest and open about her: she is strong, smart, vulnerable, and able to see the inherent bullshit that pops up within many a high school social structure. It doesn’t necessarily make it easier for her to navigate the mine fields, but it does give her the confidence to challenge the negative associations of being sexually active in high school, and why things often seem so different, in that regard, between the impact it has on a guy’s reputation vs. a girl’s reputation.

I’m also going to assume that there will be a ton of memorable lines, on a Mean Girls scale, coming out of this film: the script is a pop-culture goldmine, filled with references to teen classics like Can’t Buy Me Love and Say Anything, as well as sillier gags like the girls attending Barbara Bush High School, where the marching band faithfully learns “all of the James Bond music in a single year,” and Olive constantly drops little zingers like, “Okay, have you guys ever watched the Brady Bunch? Of course you haven’t. You’re too busy watching fake people pretend to be real on MTV.”

As I said earlier, however, the script I read was an early draft, so who knows what might have changed in the interim. But I’m extremely excited to see Emma Stone take on Olive’s story, and hoping that the film does the script justice. We need a new heroine in the teen movie genre, and if all goes well, her name will be Olive.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin