2001 - PG-13 - 96 Mins.
|Director: Robert Luketic|
|Producer: Marc Platt, Richard Kidney|
|Written By: Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith|
|Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Davis, Selma Blair, Luke Wilson, Victor Garbe |
|Review by: John Ulmer
I didn't go into "Legally Blonde" expecting too much. I rarely go to actual movie theaters to see a film (I usually rent videos/DVDs), but I got an advance on this one, and I was kind of sad it had to be this film I was going to see, but I had been invited along with two other people to see it and I wasn't going to say "no" for no reason. So I went.
Did I do that?
One of the persons I went with just wanted to see Reese Witherspoon in a Playboy bunny costume, so I figured I was in for another average run-'o-the-mill sex comedy. But I was very surprised with the outcome.
So many girl-power comedies these days are made just for the sake of trying to prove a point that women are equals to men (I suppose that's the message behind it--what else was "Now and Then" made for?) and/or support for women. Fortunately, the 2001 hit "Legally Blonde" is not only a pleasant surprise, but an intelligent film, as well. (Sorry, that was my main "gripper" for this review and I had to leave it in.)
Reese Witherspoon plays California sorority girl Elle Woods. Unlike other people her age that are worrying about grades in school, Elle only worries about what toilet paper is the softest. But after her boyfriend dumps her and goes off to Harvard Law School, Elle is determined to go to Harvard and get her man back. So after putting together a very shallow video for the chairmen of Harvard, they accept her into the prestige college (because of her innocent sexuality, no doubt, as we see them gaping at Elle in a bathing suit on the video), and she packs her bags and heads off to Harvard with her little dog Bruiser; as the ads say, "Boldly Going Where No Blonde Has Gone."
"Legally Blonde" doesn't give up on the plot and completely divulge into dumb blonde/sex jokes. This film not only has a funny--if ridiculous--plot, but the jokes are, surprisingly, NOT crude sexual jokes. This film is not another "Scary Movie" made for teens: It has divinely orchestrated comic timing.
Sometimes the plot gets a bit too heavy--the whole teacher-hitting-on-Elle thing is a bit stereotypical for a film like this--but in the long run it seems to break away from the typical girl-power comedy.
Reese Witherspoon tends to play the same characters a lot, but hey, if she can pull them off, good for her. I don't mind if all her characters tend to be the same (to a certain extent) because they tend to be quite funny and cute--who can't laugh at her Elle Woods persona?
The film has a very nice co-star cast: Victor Garber ("Titanic," "Sleepless in Seattle"), Luke Wilson ("Blue Streak," "Charlie's Angels"), and Selma Blair ("The Sweetest Thing," A Guy Thing"--pretty much anyTHING).
In the end, not only does "Legally Blonde" come off very funny, but also very witty, good-natured and sweet: One of the most pleasant surprises of 2001, indeed.