Retro Review: Legally Blonde

“Clueless” goes to law school. Who says innocence can’t become a lawyer.

Elle, a very innocent and ditsy blonde bombshell (Reese Witherspoon) watches her perfect life vaporize when her perfect man (Matthew Davis) decides he needs to move his career and lifestyle to stuffy Harvard Law.

Convinced her only chance to save her perfect relationship, Elle does all she can to get into Harvard. Will Elle succeed? How will this perfect Malibu princess fit in at Harvard?

From the opening to the finale, Blonde reminded me a lot of Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless”. What made Blonde as good as Clueless was that it didn’t pay homage but instead embraced the concept. A comparison will be obviously made between star Reese Witherspoon and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone. This is a natural comparison since their characters are very close to that same person. Cher (Silverstone in Clueless) is probably a little less shallow than Witherspoon’s Elle. However the film does bring Elle pretty close to the self-awareness that Cher does have.

Both girls pray the central figure to perfection making it extremely hard for your eyes off the screen. Witherspoon is flawless in her portrayal of Elle and breathes glorious wit, innocence and beauty as she immerses herself in the Elle character.

Blonde doesn’t sink to use gross-out humor gags but instead uses the beloved “fish-out-of-water” concept. The film also lest the central figure’s innocence shine through. The film doesn’t spoil Elle and her uniqueness instead it allows the character to appear dumber than she actually is. This embrace of the innocence is exactly what the film needed. This also allows Elle to be neither offensive nor insulting to others. Witherspoon is brilliant.

If you are quick you may notice that there are some reunions of sorts in the film. Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair starred in Cruel Intentions. Matthew Davis starred with Jessica Cauffiel (Margot) in “Urban Legends: Final Cut”. Finally Reese Witherspoon starred with Alanna Ubach (Serena) in the cult hit “Freeway”.

My slightest problems were with the film’s ending. It wrapped up so quickly and the film seemed to a take a different tone as Brooke Taylor (Ali Larter) was put on trial. Before we know it the ending is upon us. I wished my visit with Elle was a little longer but that’s the way romantic comedies work.

(3.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: Legally Blonde

  1. Reese Witherspoon is the reason I keep coming back to this movie. It’s really hard to take a character this perky and make her sweet, not chirpy and grating.

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