Reese Witherspoon channels Goldie Hawn in ‘Legally Blonde’

Our Score:

During the holidays, I was given the honor of watching over my seven-year-old niece, Amanda. We played Playstation, went to the movies, and watched TV together. It was great.

We journey to Blockbuster one day, and she was allowed to pick a movie to rent. She was torn between three films, but picked Legally Blondebecause it was the only one of the three she hadn’t seen. Plus, I wouldn’t let her rent Killer Vampires — the kid loves horror films.

So, out of curiosity, I sat and watched the hit film. In the end, I found it was actually enjoyable. There were a few genuine laughs.

The basic story follows Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) as she tries to prove to her ex-boyfriend that she could be a smart, politician’s wife. She follows him to Harvard Law School, where she successfully enrolls.

However, she discovers that law school is harder than she expected, and finds that self-worth is more important than the affections of a wishy-washy guy.

I liked this film. It was simple, light-hearted and innocent.

Okay, the love story-line was predictable, but that was this film’s only real weakness. It also does a nice job of establishing that while Witherspoon’s character may appear dumb, she clearly is not. She simply has some misplaced priorities.

What I also liked is how the film ended showing that her character has grown because of her experiences, but did not insult the kind of person she was when the film began.

Witherspoon is a terrific talent, and while I haven’t really watched all of her films, she’s always proven herself to be a fine actor. For example, I thought Election was too long and a tad boring, but she was very good in it. I would hope that she will not shy away from some more challenging roles in the future.

Legally Blonde is a movie Goldie Hawn would have made had she been 30 years younger. It is not unlike Protocol or Private Benjamin. I would like to think that Witherspoon is not attempting to mimic her career, because she has much more to offer.

I’m not saying that Hawn was a bad actress, she wasn’t. But, with the exception of Sugerland Express, she basically stuck with light-hearted comedies. I would like to see Witherspoon stretch herself a little further than that.

Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blonde poster Rating: 6.2/10 (123,058 votes)
Director: Robert Luketic
Writer: Amanda Brown (novel), Karen McCullah (screenplay), Kirsten Smith (screenplay)
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis
Runtime: 96 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Released: 13 Jul 2001
Plot: When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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