FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Legally Blonde (2001)

PRETTY IN PINK.

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Legally Blonde

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Blonde, busty, and beautiful fashion merchandising student Elle Woods (Reece Witherspoon) is heartbroken when elitist boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) dumps her because his political future needs to entail a Jackie and not a Marilyn.

Determined to win Warner back, Elle follows in his academic footsteps and attends Harvard Law School. Dismissed by most of the faculty and her classmates, including Warner, Elle uses her unique personal experiences and perspectives to excel and is given the opportunity to prove herself when she interns on a high-profile murder case…

Revisiting Legally Blonde, it isn’t difficult to see why Robert Luketic’s entertaining comedy was such a huge box office hit upon release. Nor it is surprising to see why it has remained a fixture in popular culture, most notably introducing audiences to the ‘bend and snap’ pick-up method.

The success of the film rests squarely on our leading lady’s shoulders. Oozing more charm than you would think is humanly possible, Witherspoon makes what could easily be read as an incredibly narcissistic and materialistic figure into an endearing persona. There is absolutely nothing to dislike about Elle, whose heart radiates good intentions and loyalty. As a fish out of water in Harvard, she simply wants to be accepted, and it is at this point of the narrative—having continually being dismissed as a bimbo—that we as an audience are on her side. And once we are there, we are with her until the very end.

Legally Blonde is also cleverly written, having fun with the two-dimensional, stereotypical characters to such an extent that we really don’t mind and yet still care about them. The film does not pretend to break new ground, but what is presented feels fun and fresh, even after multiple viewings; that in itself is a remarkable accomplishment, and one that is a testament to the partnership of Luketic and Witherspoon.

Pour some pink champagne and raise your glass to ‘Woods comma Elle’, this one is a winner. 4½ / 5

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber, Jennifer Coolidge, Holland Taylor.

Director: Robert Luketic | Producers: Marc Platt, Ric Kidney | Writers: Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith (Based on Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown) | Music: Rolfe Kent | Cinematographer: Anthony B. Richmond | Editor: Anita Brandt-Burgoyne

Available: Netflix

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

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