It has been 160 years since Nathaniel Hawthorne penned his masterpiece, "The Scarlet Letter."
Much has changed since the time of Hester Prynne, the story's protagonist, who is branded an adulterer after bearing a child with a man who is not her husband.
But elements of the original story seem to translate into a modern day adaptation in the new film, "Easy A."
Complete with current pop culture references, technological lingo and a whole lot of sassiness from the lead character, Olive, "Easy A" steps out of the Puritanical past and into today's high school halls.
The story of Olive, who sacrifices her reputation to help her friends and to, perhaps, prove a point about the danger of gossip, is not the only classic tale to get a present day retelling.
The hit teen film, "Clueless," in the '90s, was loosely based on the Jane Austen novel, "Emma:" "10 Things I?Hate About You," starring the late Heath Ledger, was a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew;" and even "Romeo and Juliet" was remade into a stylishly cool, Gen X love story starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
Regal Lafayette Cinema 7 - 4:00, 7:30, 9:50
Regal Grand Central Mall 12 - 1:10, 4:10, 7:15, 9:45
Modern takes on classic literature
- 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew)
- Cruel Intentions (Dangerous Liaisons)
- She's the Man (Twelfth Night)
- Clueless (Emma)
- Romeo + Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
- She's All That (Pygmalion)
- O (Othello)
- My Own Private Idaho (Henry V)
- Never Been Kissed (As You Like It)
- Freeway (Little Red Riding Hood)
Source: Times research
So all this reworking of classic tales begs the question: Do these films bring a new appreciation of classic literature by introducing them to younger audiences?
"If you are a person who is trying to work with teens, you have to try every possible way to engage them," said Joseph Rabbene, who teaches English at Marietta High School.
Among the film adaptations Rabbene has used in his class are "Of Mice and Men," starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, and both the Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli versions of "Romeo and Juliet."
"I've even shown clips from 'Fantasia,'" Rabbene said.
"We don't have time to show full films but a lot of us use bits and pieces of films."
While Rabbene admits he is "Clueless" when it comes to some recent adaptations, he expressed interest in this most recent film.
"I have never seen a decent (film) adaptation of 'The Scarlet Letter' ... I am cheered that there is still an interest in the issues of Hawthorne's classic," he said.
"Easy A" will also appeal to those who grew up with classics like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and is an obvious homage to director John Hughes.
Emma Stone stars as Olive, Amanda Bynes as the high school's resident religious zealot and Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow round out the cast of adults.
The film is rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, language and some drug material.
The Associated Press contributed.