Legally Blonde

The slim chance of being accepted to any law school, let alone Harvard, doesn't dissuade CULA (as in L.A.) co-ed Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) from applying. When this eternally perky blonde — whose signature color is pink — decides she wants something, she goes for it and usually gets it. Elle has turned her baby blues eastward towards Cambridge on...read more

Reviewed by Stephen Miller
Rating:

The slim chance of being accepted to any law school, let alone Harvard, doesn't dissuade CULA (as in L.A.) co-ed Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) from applying. When this eternally perky blonde — whose signature color is pink — decides she wants something, she goes for it and usually gets it. Elle has turned her baby blues eastward towards Cambridge on account of her snooty-but-cute Harvard-bound boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis), who has just broken up with her. Warner has political aspirations, and tells Elle that he needs a wife who's a "Jackie" not a "Marilyn." Devastated, Elle decides to prove to Warner that she's got what it takes to be the kind of brainy wife he wants. Thanks to her considerable undergrad accomplishments — which include being a Miss Hawaiian Tropic runner-up — a decent score on the LSATs, and an admissions video directed by a Coppola, Elle beats the unlikely odds, bamboozles the Harvard admissions panel and gets in. Staying in, she soon learns, won't be so easy. The snobbish faculty and student body go out of their way to make the bouncy, designer-clad Bel-Air beauty feel unwelcome and unwanted. Elle's ultimate humiliation comes when Warner announces he is engaged to fellow classmate Vivian Kensington (Selma Blair), a mousy yet well-heeled shrew. And she's a brunette! On hearing this curl-deflating news, Elle undergoes a drastic physical and academic transformation: She starts dressing conservatively (well, for her), straightens her trademark "Farrah" locks and starts cracking the books. No longer needing to prove anything to Warner, Elle realizes it's time to prove something to herself. And boy, does she ever. Elle just might have what it takes to be a damned good lawyer after all, much to the delight of Emmet Wilson (Luke Wilson), a young lawyer who sees there's a lot more to Elle than meets the legal eye. Witherspoon, who's already garnered critical kudos for her screen versatility in such films as FREEWAY, CRUEL INTENTIONS and ELECTION, turns in yet another stellar, nuanced comic performance by giving Elle brains as well as beauty; she bleaches out the dumb-blonde stereotype with sun-kissed results. This film also marks the feature-film debut of director Robert Luketic, who seems to be off to a good start. And look for '60s pinup Raquel Welch in a cameo role. Talk about your blonde bombshells.

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