This came out when I was in high school, and since I was an angsty teen I had no interest in seeing it. Since then, I believe I have become quite a bit more open-minded, and over the years I have become a pretty colossal fan of Reese Witherspoon and the majority of her filmography. So, after having this praised by a few adult friends in the last couple of years, I thought I would give it a watch.
How did this get greenlit? It features some of the most atrocious writing I have ever encountered. Not a single line or sequence that is legitimately humorous (aside from one shot of a chihuahua all set up in a salon chair). All jokes either fall flat or are full cringe - some actually don't even make sense. There is hardly any real conflict, at least none that follow logic (and this is no surreal film). The characters are like parodies of characters that don't function well even as parodies, all either depthless or going overboard with the camp, like someone trying to make camp but not understanding what makes good camp work. Even the directing is means for continuous eye rolls - like a 13 year old wanted to make a ripoff of Clueless/Heathers/Jawbreaker but only took the cheesiest elements of each and then twisted them to make them bad. It's a very hard movie to get through - I had to fight with myself not to turn it off. The dialogue is so asinine it makes your brain want to shut down. The point of the movie is supposed to be showing that a spoiled blonde perceived as dumb can actually excel just as legitimately as anyone, yet she only gets accepted into Harvard Law because she is wearing a bikini in her audition tape and a bunch of horny old men decide they want her there, suggestively for that reason. As the movie continues, it attempts to portray the idea that she is "getting smarter" as teachers slowly become more "impressed" with her "offerings" during debates in class, yet the actual dialogue and writing shows little to no signs of her actually getting smarter. A majority of her passing statements would never, ever fly in almost any form of school.
What a painful, painful film. Though it doesn't actually taint her credibility, this movie is the only true stain in the legendary Reese Witherspoon's legacy. I mean, why would you watch this when you could watch Election? One of the greatest dark comedies of all time, also extremely campy but doing it right, still full of wild high school/college age insanity, and featuring Reese's greatest character/performance of her career?