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Legally Blonde (2001)

June 23, 2010

7/10 Bend and Snaps

Surprisingly funny and terribly sweet.

Legally Blonde is about an extremely ditzy, yet  incredibly bright college grad who manages to get accepted into Harvard Law and is placed on a big time case with an A-hole senior lawyer to prove that a fitness guru is innocent of murdering her husband while she was supposedly having an affair with the pool boy.

It had probably been a good eight years or so since I first saw this with my mom at 14 (yup, that was a killer social life I had, but my mom totally rocks) and even though I remember enjoying it at the time, I wasn’t exactly stopping the presses at my all-boys High School about how they all needed hit up Blockbuster asap. Anyway, finally sat down and watched it again last weekend after channel surfing past it a good 80 times over the past decade and, strangely enough, was immediately hooked to the point where I got more “Are you serious?” stares from my girlfriend than the time I spent a Saturday morning laughing my ass off to the Freaky Friday remake on Disney.

I really have no grasp whatsoever on the kinds of movies I like.

But this one’s all about Reese Witherspoon, and, man, I am so back and forth about her. The girl’s got spunk and charisma to spare and I freakin’ loved her in Election, but while I usually like her in the moment, her performances don’t tend to stick with me after the fact. Don’t know why that is, one of history’s mysteries I suppose, but nevertheless, she’s kind of awesome here as Elle Woods.

Like I said, the gal’s spunky and charismatic like no other, but the cool thing about Elle is that she’s not stupid; definitely a space cadet at times, but not stupid. She’s more endearing and fun than anything else and it makes her character unique instead of turning her into an easy stereotype. I can’t think of a whole lot of movies where the dumb blonde isn’t just that, and that’s a big reason why Legally Blonde works as well as it does instead of feeling like White Chicks or something.

It’s a script that works to its strengths and some of the court scenes are really damn funny because they’re all catered to Elle’s expertise in everything that lawyers apparently don’t give a rats ass about, like the science of perms and every gay guy’s weakness for designer clothes. Could have been stupid, ends up being a total rip.

Also features a very funny performance from Stifler’s mom. Good stuff.

But the one issue that made me shake my head and laugh for all the wrong reasons is the way everything wraps up absolutely perfect in the end. Trust me, that didn’t spoil a thing for ya’. I know that’s just the kind of movie this is and it’s not like I didn’t see it coming from a mile away, it’s just that the whole “How can we keep one-upping ourselves so that Elle Woods can have the greatest life evern in a two-minute time span without giving her a Nobel Peace Prize?” was a bit too much is all. Not like I’m wishing for a car crash or anything, but “excessive” is the word.

No idea why Luke Wilson is in this either as Elle’s romantic interest. Dumb haircut, cardboard performance, and for a guy I usually like, he was awfully miscast.

Legally Blonde is enjoyable, semi-campy fun with a nice, simple message and while it’s not the funniest thing I’ve seen in recent memory, it’s a lot better than I remember it being and it had me chuckling quite a bit. Predictable? Sure. Cookie-cutter? Oh, hell yeah, son. But who cares? I sure don’t. Another Saturday morning well-spent if you ask me.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2010 6:39 am

    Reese Witherspoon makes this film so enjoyable…when it possibly shouldn’t be – certainly to an audience that isn’t made up of 12 year old girls.

  2. June 23, 2010 10:45 am

    Good review Aiden. Reese Witherspoon carries the entire load and thanks to her, this movie is actually quite funny and entertaining even though 9 times out of 10, this would be another girl-power wreck. One of those movies I have seen a few too many times to still be eligible for a man card.

  3. Darren permalink
    June 23, 2010 11:23 am

    Perfectly enjoyable little film – I have no beef with it. I agree with Castor that Witherspoon is seriously underrated. The sequel, on the other hand, was terrible.

  4. June 23, 2010 1:09 pm

    To be honest, this would normally be the kind of film I would avoid like the plague. But, I really enjoyed Reese in FREEWAY, ELECTION and AMERICAN PSYCHO and decided I should give Legally Blonde a go. It was a little too “cute” for my liking but I must admit, I can’t say I disliked it. Ms. Witherspoon definitely has serious sass and spunk!

  5. Branden permalink
    June 23, 2010 6:20 pm

    Yes, the movie was wrapped up too tightly at the end, but I didn’t mind it. What make you think Luke Wilson was miscast? Was it the mismatched chemistry of him and Reese? Was it just his demeanor?

    • June 23, 2010 10:38 pm

      Both. Didn’t buy their “relationship” and I didn’t think he added much whatsoever. Felt like he was phoning it in.

      • Branden permalink
        June 23, 2010 11:37 pm

        I didn’t mind it. I guess, I let it slide.

      • June 24, 2010 8:22 am

        Lol, I can dig that.

  6. June 26, 2010 3:43 am

    Thoroughly enjoyable movie and Reese was perfect for the part. Love the “snap” scene in the beauty salon.
    It’s a pity the sequel didn’t match up though.

    • June 28, 2010 8:14 am

      Never saw it, but that’s what I hear. Didn’t think there’d be a whole lot more to cover after everything got wrapped up in such a pretty little bow at the end of this one.

  7. June 26, 2010 12:36 pm

    It’s a pretty stupid movie, but as you pointed out rather charming, and Reese makes one of her most enjoyable performances here. Total guilty pleasure.

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