Legally Blonde was the movie that really launched the star power of Reese Witherspoon. Sure, she had already starred in flicks like Pleasantville, Cruel Intentions, and Election, but the character of Elle Woods was the one that really put her on the path to an Oscar. Elle Woods makes things happen, people. Since its release, I reckon that I’ve seen Legally Blonde 50 times? Maybe 100? It’s just one of those movies that, if on television, I’ll flip on and enjoy. It’s the macaroni-and-cheese of films: It’s always good, and it always makes you feel better.
But how do I feel about the movie now that I’m an adult? I was always a feminist little kid, but now that I’ve grown into a full adult feminist, what do I think about Elle’s rise to the top of her class at Harvard Law? The older that I get, the more I realize that Legally Blonde is one of the most important Trojan horse feminist movies. On the surface, a film like Legally Blonde could seem like fluffy pieces of cotton candy: Inconsequential and gone quickly. However, that’s not the case. Legally Blonde seeps into your brain until one day you realize that everything Elle Woods stood for is everything that you also stand for. Congratulations — you’re one of us now.
To celebrate, here are the major things I noticed when watching Legally Blonde as an adult.
Warner Is The Stupidest Man Alive & Probably Cheated On Elle
Seriously, who takes a woman to a very fancy restaurant in order to break up with her? Too much potential for a scene Warner. (Though there’s a woman who says, “I won’t be having the salad” at the end of the breakup scene and that’s funny.) Also, in the beginning of the film, Margot says that Warner’s grandmother came to town because she “wouldn’t Fed Ex a six-karat diamond.” That is true. If Warner’s grandmother gave him the ring around the time he broke up with Elle, wouldn’t Warner have been planning to use it? And if he knew he wasn’t going to use it on Elle, he had to have known that he was going to propose to someone else, so I’m thinking that Warner and Vivian getting back together at his grandmother’s birthday party was a bit of a lie. They could have been together before that.
I Hate The Bend & Snap
It is the most embarrassing thing about the movie. The whole scene should be cut: It’s not entertaining, it’s not funny, and it’s not clever. I can’t even stress how much secondhand embarrassment it makes me feel. Has this ever worked in order to attract someone of the opposite sex? Definitely not. I also hated it as a teen when I first saw the movie, so some things don’t change.
The Clothes Are So 2001
The Tiffany heart bracelet and necklace? The acrylic French tips? The low-slung jeans? Just awful. Maybe I dislike them especially because they haven’t all come back into style again — give it another ten years and maybe I’ll change my mind on the flared, low-rise denim. Also, feather-tipped pens. I had a thousand of those in 2001.
Vivian Is A Bully
I think that the term “bullying” is overused in today’s society, but it definitely applies to the situations in Legally Blonde. What Vivian and her friend do to Elle at Vivian’s party — telling her it was a costume party and letting her come dressed as a Playboy bunny — is pretty effed up. I hate girl-on-girl crime, and Vivian is a big perpetrator of that crap. Luckily, the two become friends by the end of the movie, and I’m sure Vivian issues her own mea culpa.
I Could Have Never Gotten Engaged Fresh Out Of College
Born and raised in the New York area, it’s not my experience that people get hitched right out of college: They tend to wait a bit. While I recognize that it’s pretty normal to get married young in certain parts of the world and country, watching this movie makes me realize that I could never have taken the plunge at 21 or 22 (about Elle’s age in the movie). I’m glad Elle didn’t, either, because she really would have ended up with a loser in Warner.
It’s Weird Elle Doesn’t Know Margot Is Getting Married
When Elle is at Harvard, she phones her friends back home and Margot is trying on wedding dresses. Um, I realize that they didn’t have Facebook or Twitter back in 2001, but how in the world would Elle not know that her best friend is getting married? Wouldn’t Margot give her a call or something? Messed up.
“Perfect Day” Is A Great Song
Haters to the left: This Hoku tune is going to be stuck in your head for the next three days, too. You’re welcome. Nothing is standing in your way!
Now that I’ve reviewed Legally Blonde, is it time to move onto Legally Blonde 2? As Jennifer Coolidge says in the movie, it makes me want a hot dog real bad.
Images: screengrab/MGM; Giphy (6)