When the superficial subculture of the West Coast meets the traditional territory of Harvard Law School- draped in pink with a copy of Cosmopolitan to hand and her beloved Chihuahua peeping out of the latest Chanel handbag, Elle Woods is deemed unsuitable for the world of education and law. However, her style and sophistication takes the courtroom by storm and lifts the stereotype of a ditsy sorority sister in this American comedy starring blonde bombshell Reese Witherspoon as Malibu Barbie Elle Woods. Legally Blonde encapsulates girl power which is a popular theme saturating twenty first century press globally into a hilarious chick flick. Her style is characterized by the early noughties looks of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan which was a post-power-dressing era of strappy sandals, blonde extensions and pink mini-skirts.
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Elle Woods, a pretty, rich and popular fashion merchandising student and president of her Delta Nu sorority is the stereotypical vapid Beverly Hills princess whose only ambition in life appears to be marriage to her fraternity boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis). She is crushed when Warner breaks up with her over a romantic dinner rather than proposing to her, as she was expecting. He explains his future in law school and politics demands a more “serious” woman – someone more reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy than Marilyn Monroe. Elle’s out. Harvard is in. So in a desperate bid to win back the love of her life she enrolls in Harvard and who’d have guessed that this fashion merchandising major whose most impressive résumé item was appearing in a Ricky Martin music video would get into a top law school! Initially, Elle remains an outcast as none of her Ivy-League class mates understand her outrageous fashion choices and her lack of professionalism. But she is not beaten down for long when she shifts her motivation from winning Warner back from his new fellow law student girlfriend Vivian (Selma Blair) who is the definition of a plain-Jane with her dull fashion choices and piercing glare (this brunette definitely does not have more fun!) She soon turns her attention to making herself bright enough to make the grade and bags herself a place on Professor Callahan’s (Victor Garber) internship program which gives her the chance to defend the innocence of a fitness instructor accused of murdering her husband. Cue the obligatory transition from Valley girl to highly sophisticated solicitor, gaining credibility without sacrificing her hot pink wardrobe or her beloved Chihuahua Bruiser. As well as mastering how to qualify in the law profession, Elle is already accredited in the art of ‘Bend and Snap’, the iconic technique to attract the opposite sex. She may look sweet but Elle demonstrates that she is well-versed in the art of seduction – Tinder who? Reese Witherspoon herself shared a video on Instagram of her performing the elusive move in celebration of the anniversary.
As Elle celebrates becoming top of her class she is soon brought back down to earth when her letchy professor makes a pass at her, making her think her looks were the only reason she got the opportunity in the first place. To make things worse Warner’s new girlfriend walks in on the whole ordeal and accuses Elle of sleeping her way to the top. Deciding to give up on her dream of pursuing a career in law, Elle heads off to pack up her things to head back to the East Coast, back to her luxurious life of decadence and margaritas. Luckily, Emmett (Luke Wilson) an associate at Harvard who has fallen for Elle convinces her to stay and finish the case. A determined Elle returns to the courtroom as the accused instructors solicitor, under Emmett’s supervision, meaning Callahan gets fired from the case.
Overall, Legally Blonde is a sweet, coming of age movie which is sassy and funny. The valley girl who loves to shop stereotype is amplified with more heart, determination and brains to make her a Barbie pink stiletto above the rest. The movie presents itself well, with over-the-top styling that any noughties girl would envy, and an excellent cast of characters to compliment Witherspoon’s energy.
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