I was going through the long list of movies featured on Netflix with my friends when Legally Blonde appeared. I made the comment that I like Reese Witherspoon but they found out I hadn’t seen it. So naturally, five of us got together on a Sunday night to watch Legally Blonde.
When I usually do a Netflix pick, I write a little about the movie I’m about to watch and then come back to that same post once I’ve seen it. I didn’t do that this time. It was a spontaneous decision so I wasn’t able to write anything beforehand, but I think I can summarize pretty well what I knew about Legally Blonde before I saw it.
This movie always screamed chick flick to me, so it was nothing I cared to see. I am a big fan of Witherspoon in roles like Election, Walk The Line, and last year’s Wild, but this did not seem like her best movie. Spoiler alert, it’s not. All I knew story-wise was what I could get from the poster, which was three things: She is blonde, likes pink, and has a dog. After reading the synopsis on Netflix I found out she eventually studies law. Here is where I watch the movie and come back later…
I’ll put it this way: I definitely did not need to see this movie, but I don’t regret watching it. Five minutes into the movie I knew how everything was going to play out. I predicted every character arc and knew where each scene was going. I’ve seen this format plenty of times, but I still enjoyed watching Legally Blonde. This is almost completely due to Witherspoon’s fun, charismatic performance.
With a story lacking creativity, I want to like the actors, smile, laugh, and just have a good time. I did all of this for the most part. There’s a sense of acknowledgement from the filmmakers who know there’s a lot of absurdity in this film. Instead of taking it too seriously, they have fun with it, making us laugh, asking us to go along with the ride. And we are more than happy to do that.
Witherspoon plays a character who’s only concern in life is to have everything in the latest clothing magazine. She has a 4.0 gpa in fashion design, taking classes like History of polka dots. You can picture this character even if you haven’t seen the movie. But once her boyfriend she thinks she’s in love with is going to Harvard Law school, she decides to enroll herself. I don’t think I need to say anymore about the plot.
Like I said, Witherspoon carries the movie. She animates the material with charm and wit, making it an enjoyable comedy. Despite what I thought before, she made her character more than a dumb blonde. She could even be a smart blonde, like this movie kind of suggests. Maybe her spoiled, sorority personality is masking the intellect she actually has. Either way, I had a great time watching Witherspoon in this comedic role. Another comedy by Witherspoon that comes out very soon, Hot Pursuit looks less than enjoyable, but I may have to reconsider.
The supporting cast does its job well, doing just that: supporting. Witherspoon is the undeniable star and everyone else works off her in some way. The only other character that stood out to me was Luke Wilson in an under used performance. I think Wilson is underrated in general, over shadowed by his more well known brotjer, Owen.
Despite the predictability and generic plot devices, I had genuinely had a good time watching this movie because of Witherspoon’s performance. She’s done better, but you can’t help but enjoy her here. I know there is a sequel that I hear is worse. Not surprising considering it’s a comedy sequel. On an unrelated note, let’s hope Ted 2 breaks that current trend.