Legally Blonde
Order in the court. Elle (Witherspoon) steals the show...
dir Robert Luketic
scr Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith
with Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Jennifer Coolidge, Victor Garber, Holland Taylor, Ali Larter, Jessica Cauffiel, Alanna Ubach, Oz Perkins, Raquel Welch
release US 13.Jul.01; UK 26.Oct.01
01/US 1h36

3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
this summer go blonde With talent and sheer star power, Reese Witherspoon turns this goofy bit of fluff into a thoroughly entertaining comedy. She plays Elle Woods, a silly fashion major at a trendy L.A. university who follows her serious-minded ex-boyfriend (Davis) to Harvard Law School to win him back. The fact that she got in to Harvard shows that there's more than just lipstick and manicures running around inside her pretty little head. And once she applies herself to her studies she takes the town by storm, impressing her demanding profs (Garber, Taylor), befriending a local beautician (Coolidge), catching the eye of a young lawyer (Wilson) and rubbing it all in the face of her ex and his new fiancee (Blair) when a big case comes along.

Witherspoon is just so perfect for this role that you can't help but enjoy every moment (it's like her perky teen from Election without the soul of pure evil!). Even in her transformation from airhead ditz to ace lawyer she keeps the character utterly consistent, which is no mean feat. This is of course helped by a smart, carefully contrived script (by the duo that gave us the superior teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You). The supporting cast is also fairly solid, although Wilson is just too bland to fit into a colourful film like this. Director Luketic knows that Witherspoon is his strongest asset here, and he keeps her front and centre, and swathed in lurid pink with adorable micro-pooch tucked cutely in designer handbag. And despite all the obvious visual hilarity, the film has a brainy centre that doesn't leave us feeling stupid for laughing at it.
themes, language cert 12 19.Sep.01

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... "Reese Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a blonde who is going to a school for fashion - her whole sorority is pink, with the entire focus on looking good, working out, steambaths, perms, hairstylists - a total fluff set. She even carries around this chihuahua named Bruiser. Nothing about her is serious, just about looks, her appearance, the right outfit, the right nail polish, the right hairstyle. So when the film opens, her entire day is spent getting ready for the Big Night; her entire sorority is helping her shop for the right outfit, the right perfume, etc. She is a dumb blonde with Daddy's plastic ... or is she? Her boyfriend had said he had something serious to discuss, so the stage is set. However, instead of proposing, he is breaking up with her because his family expects him to get serious. He is going to Harvard Law School and seeking a serious mate, like his brother has found. this summer go blonde This is where the film gets funny, silly and not to be taken seriously - but I enjoyed the movie, a lot. Elle gets into Harvard Law School, discovers she is smart and earns the respect of her fellow students. Even her parents questions her judgment - her mother says, 'You were homecoming queen, why would you want to give that up to go to Harvard?' I highly recommend this movie for a laugh, and to see another side of a dumb blonde." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 11.Aug.01

"This was a really pleasant way to spend an afternoon in the cinema - silly, funny, quite touching in places, and nice warm fuzzy ending. What more could you want?" --Jo Caswell, West Sussex 22.Nov.01

"This film is a very fun and happy movie. The acting was superb, especially Reese Witherspoon. She was very confident with herself; I hope to see her in more films. I really enjoyed watching it." --Sarah Shrapel, Dublin 5.Jun.02

2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall