When her brother decides to ditch for a couple weeks in London, Viola heads over to his elite boarding school, disguises herself as him, and proceeds to fall for one of her soccer teammates. Little does she realize she's not the only one with romantic troubles, as she, as he, gets in the middle of a series of intermingled love affairs.
Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has it all. She's the president of her sorority, a Hawaiian Tropic girl, Miss June in her campus calendar, and, above all, a natural blonde. She dates the cutest fraternity boy on campus and wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But, there's just one thing stopping Warner (Matthew Davis) from popping the question: Elle is too blonde. Growing up across the street from Aaron Spelling might mean something in LA, but nothing to Warner's East-Coast blue blood family. So, when Warner packs up for Harvard Law and reunites with an old sweetheart from prep school, Elle rallies all her resources and gets into Harvard, determined to win him back. But law school is a far cry from the comforts of her poolside and the mall. Elle must wage the battle of her life, for her guy, for herself and for all the blondes who suffer endless indignities everyday. Written by
Avoids the Stereotypical and Worn Roots of Previous Girl-Power Comedies...
I didn't go into "Legally Blonde" expecting too much. I rarely go to actual movie theaters to see a film (I usually rent videos/DVDs), but I got an advance on this one, and I was kind of sad it had to be this film I was going to see, but I had been invited along with two other people to see it and I wasn't going to say "no" for no reason. So I went.
One of the persons I went with just wanted to see Reese Witherspoon in a Playboy bunny costume, so I figured I was in for another average run-'o-the-mill sex comedy. But I was very surprised with the outcome.
So many girl-power comedies these days are made just for the sake of trying to prove a point that women are equals to men (I suppose that's the message behind it--what else was "Now and Then" made for?) and/or support for women. Fortunately, the 2001 hit "Legally Blonde" is not only a pleasant surprise, but an intelligent film, as well. (Sorry, that was my main "gripper" for this review and I had to leave it in.)
Reese Witherspoon plays California sorority girl Elle Woods. Unlike other people her age that are worrying about grades in school, Elle only worries about what toilet paper is the softest. But after her boyfriend dumps her and goes off to Harvard Law School, Elle is determined to go to Harvard and get her man back. So after putting together a very shallow video for the chairmen of Harvard, they accept her into the prestige college (because of her innocent sexuality, no doubt, as we see them gaping at Elle in a bathing suit on the video), and she packs her bags and heads off to Harvard with her little dog Bruiser; as the ads say, "Boldly Going Where No Blonde Has Gone."
"Legally Blonde" doesn't give up on the plot and completely divulge into dumb blonde/sex jokes. This film not only has a funny--if ridiculous--plot, but the jokes are, surprisingly, NOT crude sexual jokes. This film is not another "Scary Movie" made for teens: It has divinely orchestrated comic timing.
Sometimes the plot gets a bit too heavy--the whole teacher-hitting-on-Elle thing is a bit stereotypical for a film like this--but in the long run it seems to break away from the typical girl-power comedy.
Reese Witherspoon tends to play the same characters a lot, but hey, if she can pull them off, good for her. I don't mind if all her characters tend to be the same (to a certain extent) because they tend to be quite funny and cute--who can't laugh at her Elle Woods persona?
The film has a very nice co-star cast: Victor Garber ("Titanic," "Sleepless in Seattle"), Luke Wilson ("Blue Streak," "Charlie's Angels"), and Selma Blair ("The Sweetest Thing," A Guy Thing"--pretty much anyTHING).
In the end, not only does "Legally Blonde" come off very funny, but also very witty, good-natured and sweet: One of the most pleasant surprises of 2001, indeed.
4/5 stars -
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