So Marshall took me on a date this week to see Easy A.
I was way excited about seeing this movie! Not because I'm a fan of any of the actors, or because I see all high school comedies in the theater, or because I thought it was going to be particularly good.
I couldn't wait to see Easy A because it was filmed in Ojai!!
The movie itself was your typical high school comedy. It tried to do a take on Scarlet Letter. It was like Mean Girls meets Saved meets 10 Things I Hate About You. And Emma Stone is Lindsey Lohan before she went crazy.
The idea is that a girl makes up a story about a date to get out of an obligation, and ends up pretending to have lost her virginity. This is somehow scandalous and the rumor makes its way around the school. Ultimately she starts trading sexual lies for gift cards. Etc, etc, etc. There is more to it, but this girl is pegged as a "trollop" in a conservative high school for pretending to be a skank.
The unique thing about movie is that, unlike other high schools shot in random locations, Easy A embraces the town it's shot in. Ojai wasn't a nameless backdrop, and the film didn't claim to be shot in "Anytown, USA." Ojai is plastered everywhere!
The high school in the movie, Ojai North, uses the same school colors, the same large 'N' school logo, and the same PE uniforms. The only change was from Nordhoff to Ojai North. (Oh, and we don't have a woodchuck for a mascot).
The film was entirely shot in Ojai, and it is like a travel brochure for the town. Highlighted among Ojai's charms are Bart's Books, the trolley, the Ojai Playhouse, the bell tower, Libby Park, the orange orchards, the arcade including Rains and Ojai Ice Cream, and the beautiful lookouts above the valley.
Also tying the Ojai connection was the use of large number of Ojai teens as extras. It was really hard to watch in the theater because the high school crowd scenes were too much to take in. "Oh, there's _____! Is that _____? I know ______ is supposed to be in here somewhere, watch for him!" I can't wait to watch this at home with the power of pause and rewind. There were so many times Marshall and I lamented that we couldn't rewind to see if that guy who walked past in the background was one of my little brothers.
For as much as this film was "life in Ojai," there was one thing I couldn't get past. Losing virginity being a big deal at Nordhoff? Really?? I don't think so. Her clothing scandalous? Um, not as bad as what I saw actually worn on campus most days. And a profanity getting you sent to Principal's office with the threat of expulsion? Hahaha! Have you met Mr. Mohney??
Easy A kept much of Ojai's backdrop, but definitely not the culture.