Anthony's Film Review

Legally Blonde (2001)

This comedy requires suspension of disbelief, but Reese Witherspoon still makes it interesting enough...

Legally Blonde is a comedy film with a story that sounds too weird to occur in real life. You have a blonde college student named Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon, who seems to be a typical young girl with a wide social network, thanks to her sorority membership. She has a very bubbly personality, so much that other people might consider her an airhead without any sign of intelligence. She does have a boyfriend named Warner, played by Matthew Davis, but unfortunately, he breaks up with her because he's going to Harvard Law School and needs to focus on his studies. Elle is so distraught over this that she decides to apply for law school, specifically (and only) Harvard just so she could be with him again.

Sounds rather absurd, doesn't it? I mean, who would actually apply for a specific graduate or professional school just to be with the person they love? It takes serious dedication to get the highest level of education. If Elle's rationale for applying to law school seems strange enough, just look at her application. Her extracurricular activities are related to fashion and style, which are her prime interests, and she submits a video essay in which she is in a hottub wearing a bikini while telling people why she is qualified for Harvard. Now, this does seem very surprising to the people on the school's admission committee. But as they do notice, Elle does have a very high score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). That, believe it or not, is enough for them to accept Elle into Harvard Law School.

Once Elle moves to Boston to start her years at Harvard, other characters see how strange this person is. With her flashy pink attire and seemingly airheaded demeanor, how can one not be? Certainly, one character already dislikes Elle: a student named Vivian, played by Selma Blair. Elle is also disappointed to learn that this rival is Warner's fiance. And yet, there's still one person who isn't turned off by Elle: a fellow student named Emmett, played by Luke Wilson. I will admit that having characters who don't mind Elle's presence and can at least tolerate her helped me get through watching this movie.

I know what you're thinking. Did I really suffer during the first half of the movie where much of what happens requires suspension of disbelief? Well, I wouldn't really go as far as to say that. But I still took notice because I'd probably enjoy the movie a bit more if it was somewhat more realistic. That's not to say I didn't like the movie the way it was. If anything, I liked it enough to not rate it negatively. Why? Because Reese Witherspoon's performance unexpectedly grew on me. Elle wasn't so annoying that I permanently stopped liking the character, and she did prove herself to be smarter than meets the eye, particularly with a moment where her in-depth knowledge of fashion unexpectedly influences the outcome of a courtroom trial.

Overall, Legally Blonde is an average comedy that is mostly predictable but has a leading actress who ultimately wins us over (provided that we have the patience to sit through a plot that is stranger than fact). Whenever I see a movie that leaves me with a seemingly equal mix of criticism and praise, I have to weigh the two sides carefully. I don't want to regret the rating I give the movie. After careful consideration, I am giving Legally Blonde a rating of 6 out of 10, which is marginally positive. It's not a very impressive verdict, but at least it's not guilty of being a bad movie.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Legally Blonde, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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