This week, I watched Legally Blonde (2001). This was another first for me, but I definitely see why it became such a classic.

Most of you likely know the tale of Elle Woods’s ascension from lovestruck sorority president to Harvard law student. For me, again, this was new. I’ve had a mild awareness of Legally Blonde ever since I was child, yet somehow I’d never seen it. I did have the chance to read a copy of the screenplay for class last year which is something I would highly recommend if like me you are interested in screenwriting as well.

I think part of what made Legally Blonde stand out is how the story reflects an abridged glimpse at the female experience. The author of the novel the movie was based on, Amanda Brown, even talks about how the premise of the story came from her own experiences as a fashion obsessed blonde in law school. The movie then shines a light on the perception bias of blonde sorority girls. There’s a long standing joke in society about the “dumb blonde”, and Legally Blonde points out the limiting factor of actually prescribing to that belief. We thus watch Elle grow from a well-meaning and naïve sorority sister into a confident law student who well and truly knows her own worth.

A few times in my life I have heard that people love a good revenge story. I never thought much about it personally, but I found that I really did enjoy watching Elle make Warner eat his own words. Revenge doesn’t have to be violent, and I have heard more than once that the best revenge is to live well. Moving forward in my own writing, I too would like to incorporate these little moments of revenge where characters simply prove the other wrong in their assertions rather than resorting to violence.

My favorite thing about this movie has to be Elle and her relationship with her friends from her sorority, at the salon, and even at Harvard. Regardless of how serious people do or do not take Elle, she’s always there to support. When I first started the movie and saw the breakup scene between Warner and Elle, I immediately thought that her sisters would comfort her for a while only to ultimately abandon her. Like Warner, I assumed she and her sisters were unserious and underestimated them. I really liked then how Elle’s sisters rally around her even if they don’t fully agree with or understand her desire to go to Harvard. They help her study, they keep her focused, and even cheer her on from the stands as she appears for the trial. A lot of movies might have had Elle achieve her goal of getting into Harvard at the sacrifice of her relationship with her past life and friends; however, Legally Blonde shows that women can enjoy fashion, sisterhood, and legal studies while achieving their dreams.

3 thoughts on “Now Watch This: Legally Blonde (2001)

  1. Hi William

    Good observation on how the film challenged bias as it pertains to blonde sorority girls. Definitely not your typical underdog tale. I too loved watching Elle grow from being naïve (I’m okay with the well-meaning part) to seeing her value and what she uniquely brings to the world of law.

  2. Hi William,

    I loved your point on the revenge. I am part of the first category, for me there is just something so satisfying about revenge, especially the ones just like Legally Blonde. Violence to me honestly takes away from the satisfaction, so I definitely agree that characters flourishing when others are either praying on their downfall or have wronged them is just the best. Great post!

  3. Hey there, I really appreciated your point about how Elle’s friendships with her sorority friends are such a cornerstone of the movie. In my initial impressions of the film, I only noticed how they were played for comedy, but you are totally right in that they really work hard to support Elle even if law school and the legal system are beyond their interests. Community is really kind of a subtle theme throughout the movie. Elle is consistently working hard to befriend her detractors and prove herself vs making enemies. Ultimately, too, it’s this community that she creates which allows her to overcome Callahan when Emmett and her classmates support her in taking over as Brooke’s attorney. Contrast this with Warner and Callahan who torn Elle down in their own manners, through not taking any of her interests or treating her only as a sex object, respectively. Anyways, great insight, thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *