Emma Stone plays Olive, who flies under the radar in her high school. Her best friend Rhi, played by Aly Michalka, invited Olive to go camping with her family. Olive declined and lied by saying that she has a date with a college freshman. Olive spent the weekend at home, getting the song "Pocket Full of Sunshine" stuck in her head even though she called it the "worst song ever." At school, Rhi badgers Olive about her date. Olive said it was uneventful but Rhi wouldn't stop badgering her and asking if she had sex with her date, so Olive caved and lied. Self-righteous Christ crusader Marianne, played by Amanda Bynes, overhears the entire thing and spreads the rumor that Olive is a whore. The lie escalates when Olive decides to help out Brandon, played by Dan Byrd, by pretending to have sex with him at a party (so the guys at school would stop beating him up for being gay). Other social outcasts at Olive's school recruits her help in exchange for gift cards. The lies get bigger. Olive's reputation gets dirtier. The "Christians" get meaner. Until Olive can't take it anymore.
It's a funny movie. I like the jokes between Olive and her family, who are ever supportive and understanding. The "Pocket Full of Sunshine" bit was funny. Many comebacks were witty. I also like the references to "The Scarlet Letter."
At one point, Olive tried to come clean to the school counselor, but she only cut her off, refused to listen, and sent her away with a handful of condoms. We later find out *spoiler* that the school counselor Mrs. Griffith, played by Lisa Kudrow, was having an affair with a student Micah (played by Cam Gigandet), who was almost 21 years old but still a senior, one of the self-righteous "Christians", and Marianne's boyfriend. Micah later contracts chlamydia and blames Olive for it. Olive hears about the affair from Mrs. Griffith and decides to take the blame so Mrs. Griffith won't get fired and her marriage won't fail (Mr. Griffith, played by Thomas Haden Church, was Olive's favorite English teacher).
That part reminds me of "The Scarlet Letter" because Hester Prynne was ostracized for having an affair, but was later called a saint because of the charity and help she provided to the people. Olive was being ostracized for being promiscuous, but in reality, she'd been helping people. And one of her biggest sacrifice was taking the blame for Micah's chlamydia and covering up Mrs. Griffith's affair.
Sadly, there is too much profanity in this movie. Rhi, Olive's best friend, kept calling her a b**** and even turned against her by joining the "Christians" protest against Olive. What kind of best friend is that? There is also too much use of g**d*** and many other expletives. Unnecessary. Plus, people don't have as big of a potty mouth as Hollywood makes it seem, even in liberal California.
Also, I am so tired of how Hollywood portrays Christians. I wouldn't consider Marianne and her friends as Christians. If you compare those characters to some people in the Bible, they would be the Pharisees, the holy leaders who are self-righteous and condemning. The people who got Jesus crucified and the people Jesus warned His disciples against becoming. The whole Marianne bit was tiring because it's overplayed. Hollywood always portray Christians as hypocrites who condemn other people. Oh yeah, there are "Christians" that are like that. But I'd say most Christians know they're imperfect people and genuinely tries to help those in need because they know what it's like to be in need, to be lost, and to simply need someone who'll listen. And they do NOT do it with picket signs, name calling, and ostracizing.
I don't know how this movie passed with a PG-13 rating. "The Breakfast Club" has an R rating, and yes it was made in the 80s. Just goes to show how low standards have become. This movie has foul language, sexual content and innuendo, drugs, alcohol, and partial nudity. There's a flashback scene of Olive with Rhi's family. Rhi's parents were high, naked, and offered Olive a bong for dessert. There are many movies with a PG-13 for "sex-related humor" but they're not as bad as this movie.