On this day in Film History: Legally Blonde (2001)


Unbelievably, it’s been fifteen years since Legally Blonde was let loose on the world and redefined what it means to be “blonde” (in a good way I think). The film follows the ever perky and lover of all things pink Elle Woods, who is studying fashion merchandising in California and seemingly has the perfect life. She’s the president of her sorority, she’s got a 4.0 and her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (the governor’s son) seems ready to propose when he takes her out to a fancy restaurant. But then, Elle’s world comes crashing down when Warner drops a bombshell: not only is he breaking up with her (for the good of his future career), he’s also leaving to attend Harvard Law School. Furious, Elle studies and does well on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and moves across the country to attend Harvard herself, determined to get Warner back.

Elle has her work cut out for her. Not only does she stick out like a sore thumb, she arrives to find that Warner is already engaged to Vivian Kensington. Instead of giving up, Elle decides that she’s really going to apply herself and dives into the study of law, surprising everyone by doing well, growing more accepted over time by her fellow students and professors. She partially does this with the help of Emmett Richmond, the junior partner of Professor Callahan, a respected lawyer in his own right as well as one of Elle’s professors. Elle does so well that she wins a prestigious internship with Callahan as he defends a famous fitness trainer named Brooke Windham. Elle believes that she got in on her own merits, but when Callahan attempts to seduce her in his office, she realizes that it was largely because of how pretty she is, a revelation that nearly causes her to quit on the spot (but thankfully Emmett talks her out of it and gives Callahan a piece of his mind in the process).

Brooke is accused of murdering her husband and doesn’t have a good alibi (she was actually having liposuction, but if the news got out it would ruin her career). The pool cleaner claims that he was having an affair with Brooke and that she had her husband murdered so they could run away together. But using her fashion intuition, Elle realizes that the pool cleaner is gay and therefore lying. On a hunch, Emmett believes Elle and her theory is proven correct. But there’s still the question of who did the murder.

After Prof.Callahan abandons the case in a huff, Elle finds herself questioning the last witness, the daughter of Brooke’s husband by a previous relationship. The daughter claims that she was taking a shower when the murder occurred, despite having gotten a perm the same day. Knowing that getting hair wet within 24 hours of getting a perm would ruin the treatment, Elle calls her out and receives a full confession! Now famous for exonerating Brooke Windham, Elle goes on to graduate Harvard with honors, but not before taking care of some unfinished business. See, after Elle wins the case, Warner reveals that he’s dumped Vivian and wants to be back with her (he’s practically crawling back to her). And Elle, very smugly, tells him to get lost!! She, in turn, gets together with Emmett who (the closing commentary informs us) is going to propose later that evening after graduation day.

I love Reese Witherspoon in this movie, she’s just so perky!!! And pink, I love that she loves pink! There was a sequel in 2003, but for me it didn’t quite duplicate the magic of the original. That’s all for today, enjoy the rest of Wednesday! -Bex

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