'Legally Blonde' Gets Better With Age

Legally Blonde is just one of those iconic movies of my generation. In 2001, I had braces and wasn’t quite sure what to do with my hair (but who did in middle school?), and I was also the smart one, eschewed by most of the boys for the cheerleaders with big boobs. When Elle Woods hit the screen that same year, I was hit by a revelation — smart girls could be beautiful. Beautiful girls could be smart! Now that I am both (and incredibly modest), I took it upon myself to watch Legally Blonde as an adult to see if my feelings about the film had changed.

I’m sure that you’ve seen Legally Blonde, but if you haven’t, here’s the gist — sorority president and resident blonde Elle Woods is expecting her super serious boyfriend Warner Huntington III to propose to her when he dumps her instead in favor of a “Jackie, not a Marilyn”. In her grief, she does what any woman would do — takes the LSATs, applies to Harvard Law, and gets in. She’s discounted the whole time but obviously and eventually emerges on the top of her class and with a new man (and not that loser Warner). Ali Larter is in the movie, too, dressed mostly in head-to-toe Gucci, and it’s fabulous.

But back to me here — would I feel the same way as an adult that I did when I watched the movie as a middle schooler? Here are some things I noticed about Legally Blonde as a grownup.

1. College Looks More Fun Than It Is

I mean, I didn’t go to a big school, but the keg parties and sorority rituals and wet T-shirt contests and bike riding through idyllic streets? My school wasn’t like that.

2. That Tiffany Heart Necklace

What a piece of iconography of that era! Everyone had the necklace or the bracelet (I had the bracelet), and I don’t think I’ve seen one since.

3. I Have A Thing For Mean Saleswomen

Or sticking it to them, at least. I love when Elle offers her encyclopedic knowledge of Vogue for the smack down when she’s shopping for her dress.

4. Warner Is Actually So Gross

What kind of college senior dresses like he’s an extra in the Miami Vice movie? His suit is shiny, OK?

5. Elle Is So Young

Plenty of people get married young, so I have no problem with that. What I can’t believe is how much older Elle felt when I was younger, and how young she seems now.

6. The Sorority Line Up

Do all of the girls line up like that in the foyer every time one of them has a date? I was never in a sorority, but this seems peculiar.

7. Nail Salons Fix Problems

They still do. I always feel better after a manicure/pedicure combo and a ten-minute chair massage (if I’m feeling particularly luxe).

8. The Days Of Our Lives Plot

When Elle starts telling Margot what happened on Days Of Our Lives that week, it dawned on me — I’m pretty sure it was the same storyline my mother was watching last week. In 2016.

9. Admissions Panels Are Probably The Same

Yep, just a bunch of old, white dudes.

10. Why Is Everyone Staring?

Presumably, Elle started school in the fall with everyone else. Where is everyone else that’s moving in? Why are they all staring at her? Don’t they have anything else to do?

11. Four Hours Is Way Too Long To Be In A Hot Tub

You’re just asking for heatstroke.

12. That “Pooh Bear” Thing

Why can’t Warner come up with different terms of endearment for his girlfriends?

13. The Sequined Bikini Top

Elle, it’s October — why are you wearing a bikini top and a fur coat on the lawn of Harvard? You’re going to catch a chill. It’s Boston, not Borneo.

14. The Bend & Snap Is Gross

Still makes me cringe. That’s a constant from middle school to now.

15. Margot’s Engagement

She got engaged so fast and told no one… what a bad friend. And how is June 1 the date already?

16. What Century Is Elle In?

How did she not have a computer already? Also, remember those iMacs?

17. This Plot Hole

Raquel Welch’s character says she’s never met Brooke Windham, but later she says that she saw Mr. Salvatore serving a topless Brooke drinks by the pool. Which is it?

18. The Pool Boy

Isn’t his depiction doubly offensive? Over-the-top Latin and over-the-top flamboyantly gay? Not a good look.

19. Elle’s Honesty Is Refreshing

There’s a lot of hand wringing to tell the truth when something bad happens in a lot of movies… not with Elle. She comes right out and says that Callahan hit on her.

20. The Soundtrack Is Everything

Hoku? “Watch Me Shine?” Anthems of my generation, OK?

21. Vivian & Elle Are The Love Story

Screw Emmett — Vivian and Elle are the ones who grew to love each other. I’m also glad neither of them taught Warner how to do his laundry — he needs to figure it out on his own.

22. The Final Wigs Are So Bad

You can tell that the last scene was either reshot or shot at a different time than the rest of the movie, because Reese Witherspoon’s wig is awful.

Legally Blonde, I still love you and your Hoku jams.

Images: MGM; Giphy (22)