Boldly going where no blonde has gone.
"A feel-good girl-power comedy! People Magazine
|When her boyfriend ditches her simply because she's too blonde, a beautiful fashion major vows to do anything to get him back, even it means going to law school.|
"Two thumbs up! Ebert & Roeper And The Movies
"In a perfect marriage of player and part, Reese Witherspoon is Elle Woods. Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"...a featherweight comedy balanced between silliness and charm. It is impossible to dislike... Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Witherspoon turns in yet another stellar, nuanced comic performance. Stephen Miller, TV Guide
"Smart screwball comedy that upends the stereotype of the airhead towhead. Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
In the sharply funny LEGALLY BLONDE, Reese Witherspoon gives a glittering performance as Elle Woods, the natural blonde sorority queen who enrolls at Harvard Law School. When she first appears, Elle seems to be no more than the bright cousin of CLUELESS's Alicia Silverstone. Expecting her boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) to propose, she is mortified when instead he says he needs somebody serious as his wife. When Elle discovers Warner's brother is engaged to a law student, she decides to go to Harvard. She studies for the LSATs, submits a video essay--in which she appears in a sequined bikini--and, miraculously, is accepted. At first, Elle is rebuked by Professor Stromwell (Holland Taylor) and is the target of snide comments from other students. But, gradually, it becomes clear that Elle is no fish out of water--she is smarter, more driven, and more likely to survive in the rarefied Harvard atmosphere than anyone else.Witherspoon gets fine support from Selma Blair as Warner's new fiancée, Jennifer Coolidge as a beautician, Victor Garber as an unscrupulous professor, Ali Larter as a client from Elle's sorority, Holland Taylor, and Luke Wilson as a lawyer fascinated by Elle's unconventional approach. The smart, witty script is by Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith. The first-time director is 28-year-old Australian Robert Luketic.
Cast & Crew
MTV Award (2002)
||Legally Blonde, Nominee, Best Movie
Golden Globe (2002)
||Legally Blonde, Nominee, Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
||Reese Witherspoon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
MTV Award (2002)
||Reese Witherspoon, Winner, Best Comedic Performance
||Reese Witherspoon, Winner, Best Dressed
||Reese Witherspoon, Nominee, Best Female Performance
||Reese Witherspoon ("Oh, I like your outfit too, except when I dress up as a frigid bitch, I try not to look so constipated."), Winner, Best Line
"...Beaming star wattage out of ever pore, not to mention her hair, Witherspoon once again proves herself a comedienne worthy of comparison to such golden era greats as Carole Lombard and Ginger Rogers..."
New York Times
"...[Witherspoon is] a sharp, quick-witted Doris Day....Witherspoon has the reflexes to make Elle both appealing and ridiculous..."
"...The film bubbles along like a whirlpool tub full of bath gel....Witherspoon is the main course, and she serves justice in delicious fashion..."
"...Reese Witherspoon reveals interesting dark roots even as she plays golden girls..."
"...[Witherspoon] stays one sharp cookie..."
Sight and Sound
"...Witherspoon projects an astute mix of genuine affability and game over-exaggeration..."
"...Witherspoon effortlessly animated this material with sunshine and quick wit..."
Salon.com 7 of 10
...[Reese Witherspoon's] sophisticated-pixie brilliance practically makes the movie, and her easy, confident, curvaceous carriage doesn't hurt, either--she's the thinking guy's cupcake, maybe because her mind is just as supple as her curves...
- Stephanie Zacharek
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
...a featherweight comedy balanced between silliness and charm. It is impossible to dislike... Witherspoon effortlessly animated this material with sunshine and quick wit.
- Roger Ebert
ReelViews 7 of 10
Legally Blonde fits into the niche occupied by motion pictures like Clueless, Dick, and Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion - that is to say, films in which an airhead heroine captures our affection and overcomes her vacuous disability to triumph. However, while Legally Blonde boasts its share of cute moments, the production has at least one significant problem - the plot. Director Robert Luketic's feature debut is handicapped by a lame, predictable storyline that calls attention to itself too often. Admittedly, in all but the best comedies, plot is usually not a strong suit, but the filmmakers of Legally Blonde make the mistake of believing the audience will care about the way things progress, which is not likely to happen...Without question, Reese Witherspoon carries the film. The actress, who has basically grown up in front of the camera, has previously shown a strong grasp of both comedy and drama, and this is the most effective satirical performance she has given since Election...For much of the first two-thirds, Legally Blonde remains within the realm of mild satire and lighthearted comedy; however, during the third act, which involves a court battle where Elle proves her mettle, the film descends into sentimentality. Suddenly, we're supposed to care not only about the character (which is feasible, given Witherspoon's performance) but about her circumstances (which is not reasonable, given the limited quality of the writing). Like many comedies, Legally Blonde wants the plot to be more than a framework upon which to hang the jokes, but it fails to provide enough substance for that to be the case. That's a recipe for mediocrity, and, by not taking risks or supplying an interesting storyline, Legally Blonde falls into the trap.
- James Berardinelli
Reel.com 8 of 10
It's probably safe to say that Legally Blonde is the best '80s movie of the new century. It's a throwback to a time when class issues and revolutions were played out by nerds and jocks on conjured college campuses, where microcosms were all there was and the outside world was like a dream kept at bay by ivy-clad brick walls. Things then seemed, at best, tenuously connected to anything larger, except whatever shining notion of the future was presented in the closing scene before the screen went black and the Flock of Seagulls track started up...The detached optimism of the '80s film, the sacred fantasy of a triumphant ending (touchstones here are Revenge of the Nerds and Porky's, though others certainly pertain), is captured like a yearbook photograph in Legally Blonde, a charming and belated (and charmingly belated) update to the genre. Reese Witherspoon is our Molly Ringwald, playing a flighty yet determined sorority sister who follows her boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) to Harvard Law School to win him back...Helmed by newcomer Robert Luketic, the film was based on a semi-autobiographical novel by writer Amanda Brown, who enrolled in law school as a fish-out-of-bottled-mineral-water. The book was converted into a script by the writing team responsible for 10 Things I Hate About You, another snappy and smart comedy that recalls the bygone era of (my) youth...The film is certainly not flawless -- Luketic hasn't developed his own style yet, and whatever directorial flourishes there are seem Hollywood-glossy. The director of photography is Anthony Richmond, an old-timer whose previous credits include Don't Look Now and Let It Be...Richmond's talents are underused, but he sure makes Witherspoon's hair look purty.
- Neal Block