Legally Blonde (USA, 2001)
Predictions: Nothing to predict. We have both seen this movie a number of times.
Plot: Reese Witherspoon has a great life. She is the president of her sorority at Fake UCLA, and she’s about to get engaged to her boyfriend, Harvard-Law-School-bound Matthew Davis. But then, HLSB Matthew Davis turns out to be a dickbag who dumps her because she’s not a Vanderbilt. He needs a Jackie and she’s a Marilyn, you guys.
Naturally, like any self-respecting woman, Reese Witherspoon hatches a plan. She’ll just get into Harvard Law School herself and show him the error of his ways. What do you mean, that seems difficult and/or implausible?? She can do anything with her fuzzy pink pen! And, indeed, she…succeeds???? You go, Reese Witherspoon, although we are…surprised.
At Harvard, Reese Witherspoon unsurprisingly does not fit in. Man, those Harvard Law students. Just so judgmental and tweed-y. She gets kicked out of class for not being prepared, is scorned by Matthew Davis’s fancy new/old/other/better girlfriend Selma Blair, and is just generally mocked all around. So terrible here in Cambridge. She should just go back to the pool or whatever. But then, one day, sick of not being taken seriously, she decides to buckle down and study. And lo and behold, before you know it, she’s impressing people left and right! Along with Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, and somebody else, she gets picked for Professor Victor Garber’s fancy internship. He’s representing Ali Larter, ex-sorority girl and current exercise icon, who’s on trial for the murder of her husband, and needs some extra intern hands.
Some twists and turns ensue, but basically, Reese Witherspoon uses her sorority connections, deep knowledge of fashion/hair/whatever, and plucky go-getter personality to prove Ali Larter innocent. It was Permed Linda Cardellini all along, guys!!!! *GASP* Along the way, Reese Witherspoon is validated by Professor Holland Taylor, gets hit on by Professor Victor Garber (gross), and forms a rapport with Luke Wilson, one of Victor Garber’s associates. Not in that order. She and Selma Blair also have a will-they-won’t-they…friendship? while Matthew Davis gets his comeuppance in the form of a) rejection by both Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair and b) his own mediocrity. He was WAIT-LISTED AT HARVARD, YOU GUYS. DID YOU KNOW???? We must all shun him the next time we see him at the yacht club.
Also, Reese Witherspoon has a well-dressed Chihuahua, who’s in, like, every scene, and a weird friend from the nail salon (Jennifer Coolidge), whom she helps to get her dog back and get her groove on with the UPS guy. The end!
Best Scene: When Reese Witherspoon wins her case, of course! Although there is no way she would be allowed to just ramble on like that in an actual courtroom during a cross-examination, we love that somehow her total lack of a plan works out, and we love the whole courtroom (until the turning point) being like, GOD, WE GET IT, LINDA CARDELLINI WAS IN THE SHOWER.
Worst Scene: When Professor Victor Garber hits on Reese Witherspoon. Victor Garber is a treasure. Nobody wants to see him being a lech. :(
Best Line: “Oh, Warner, I’ve waited so long to hear you say that – but if I’m gonna be a partner in a law firm by the time I’m thirty, I’m gonna need a boyfriend who’s not such a complete bonehead.” – Reese Witherspoon, capping off her courtroom victory by dumping Matthew Davis for good. Just one of many shining moments in this film, which, lbr, is basically iconic line after iconic line, so how could we really choose??
Worst Line: Weeeeeell. This movie is a classic, which also means it’s kind of old, so you do have those moments of being like, “Oh dear…this was back when the word ‘retard’ was still acceptable-ish.” It is no longer acceptable, guys, in case anyone was still wondering.
Highlights of the Watching Experience: Awwww, look at adorable, young, early-'00s Reese Witherspoon! Meanwhile, here we are in 2017, looking forward to her next romcom, in which she’s a 40-something cougar/MILF, and we dearly hope that she gets back together with her ex (and that he’s a good person), rather than ending up with, you know, whoever is 2017’s Justin Long. Also, how come Luke Wilson never looks fully happy? What tragedy struck you in your past, Luke Wilson, that you still have not overcome?? Will the eternally optimistic and unrealistically successful Reese Witherspoon be able to fill this dark void in your heart????
How Many POC in the Film: Black judge. Asian nail-salon worker (but oddly, side-by-side with a white nail-salon worker????). Gay Latino cabana boy. Miscellaneous people with no lines.
Alternate Scenes: Although we are not generally interested in movies about manpain, we would be interested in a sequel (or a prequel??) about Luke Wilson’s inner darkness. We would also be interested in the alternate film about Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair’s romance. We love, LOVE that they became best friends. But we would also love it if they kissed.
Was the Poster Better or Worse than the Film: Comparable. Although from afar poster!Reese Witherspoon looks a bit like an airline stewardess dragging some tiny pink dog-luggage, by and large, this poster accurately describes this movie.
Score: 8.5 out of 10 bright pink smooches. A very well-constructed movie, although maybe we should not have watched it as a romcom?? We are sitting here now, unsure why we chose to include this movie but exclude, for instance, Miss Congeniality. Seems like a random cracking of the whip, but too late, it happened. Maybe now we can use this mistake to justify future mistakes, such as permitting ourselves to watch Miss Congeniality instead of whatever next Jason-Biggs piece of trash should come up in our list. (No offense to Jason Biggs, who seems probably nice enough in real life, but his agent has terrible taste in films.)
Ranking: 7, out of the 81 movies we’ve seen so far. Take that, 68% Rotten Tomatoes score!!!! WHAT GARBAGE PEOPLE ARE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES, RATING LEGALLY BLONDE 68% AND MISS CONGENIALITY 42%???? What are you even doing watching Miss Congeniality, if you are the kind of person who is only going to enjoy it 42%???? NO ONE TOLD YOU THIS MOVIE WOULD BE CITIZEN KANE.