What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this smart teen comedy inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel The Scarlet Letter centers on a straight-laced teen (Emma Stone) who gets caught up in the school rumor mill (partly thanks to gossip spreading via Facebook and texting) -- a situation that many teens will be able to identify with. Labeled promiscuous after she tells a white lie and, later, exacerbates that lie with another, she quickly loses control of the situation (though, because this is a movie, she manages to cope with poise and wit). Although little action is shown, the subject of sex permeates the whole film, and there are lots of innuendoes/references and situations (including talk about losing virginity), as well as incidents in which kids judge one another. There's also some swearing (including "s--t") and allusions to underage drinking.
- Families can talk about gossip and bullying. What role does technology play in how the gossip about Olive spreads? How can you prevent that kind of thing from happening in real life?
- Why does Olive perpetuate the gossip about her? What does she get out of it, considering that it also torments her? Is her reaction believable?
- Does the movie do a good job of modernizing a classic book? Do the movie and the novel The Scarlet Letter have the same message? Where do they differ?