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Overall Rating
3.48

Awesome: 23.45%
Worth A Look37.24%
Average: 19.31%
Pretty Bad: 4.14%
Total Crap: 15.86%

6 reviews, 109 user ratings


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Legally Blonde
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Holding court"
3 stars

Legally Blonde is undemanding, fairytale cinematic fluff about a Californian sorority queen who enrols in Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend. What saves it from inconsequence is Reese Witherspoon's lead performance.

Witherspoon proved herself a gifted comedian with Election, in which she played an ambitious aspirant for school president named Tracy Flick. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde has something of Flick's external pluck and determination, but Witherspoon's careful not to repeat herself. Beneath the perky exterior, Flick was ruthless and hard as steel. Woods is all soft centre - shy, uncertain and lacking in resolve.

This role plays to a Saturday night audience, who want to see Woods empower herself. At Harvard, her pink ensembles and Californian manners mark her an immediate outsider from the ranks of the other law students, who espouse non-conformity but dress alike in blacks and greys. Woods is an unlikely rebel - hardly fighting from a position of disadvantage, the only barrier to her success is an initial unwillingness to think for herself.

First-time Australian director Robert Luketic struggles to keep Legally Blonde vibrant and snappy, but is hindered by the draggy screenplay of Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz (working from Amanda Brown's novel). Witherspoon quickly puts an audience in a mood for comedy, but there aren't nearly enough one-liners and gags to keep you distracted. I laughed almost in relief whenever a funny line or situation presented itself (Witherspoon's canny and hilarious performance is shown to best effect during Woods' enrolment video for Harvard, which is a classic).

The story's a little like Clueless meets My Cousin Vinny. The latter wasn't a great film, but the trial scenes with Marisa Tomei were a hit because you didn't expect this wisecracking Bronx girl to be a technical authority on automotive mechanics. There's a lot less surprise in seeing Woods score points in court from her knowledge of hair care. Reality goes completely out the window during the trial scenes, which is a shame because there are moments of truth in the depiction of the cliquey law students and the institutionalised sexism in male-dominated legal practice (where a female student is automatically assigned to make the coffee).

Luke Wilson, Selma Blair and Jennifer Coolidge (Best in Show) come closest to registering in the support cast, but the other actors are mostly delegated to the background by Witherspoon's bravura performance and bright costumes (the colour design of the film isn't subtle, but it's appropriate). Audiences undeservedly overlooked Election. Legally Blonde isn't nearly as smart or funny, but it's worthwhile as a showcase for Witherspoon's talent.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5347&reviewer=104
originally posted: 10/18/01 08:10:09
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User Comments

9/28/10 art PATHETIC!,who cares about some DUMB BLONDE!? 1 stars
4/29/10 name Great site. Keep doing., 2 stars
6/19/09 art A MOTION PICTURE THAT IS ONLY FOR JERK"S! 1 stars
12/21/08 Samantha Pruitt pretty funny, surprisingly good! 4 stars
12/06/08 PAUL SHORTT LIKEABLE FLUFFY COMEDY 3 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Silverstone is Hot!! 5 stars
11/03/07 sarah a comedy that mkes sense. loved it 5 stars
5/27/07 WalkingDisaster Hilarious without being asinine 5 stars
4/09/07 johnnyfog I was suprised how funny Reese is. Jennifer Coolidge is of course awesome 5 stars
11/24/06 sammmy love it just wish i didnt have to do an english assignment on it ....... 3 stars
5/28/06 Alexandra I loved it. I found i could relate to some of the characters too! 5 stars
2/05/06 sweetgrrl1972 Full of hackneyed stereotypes, an embarrassingly bad ending yet somehow Reese is charming 3 stars
1/03/06 cody reese is heroine of this picture, she keeps the movie together with spunk , not great 3 stars
9/27/05 Daveman Badly shot, lit and rather bland, never reaches the hilarious camp extremes of the sequal. 2 stars
9/20/05 Madeline Jensen it's the best, i love it! (but i guess i am a bit like elle 5 stars
9/01/05 holly this movie kicks butt 5 stars
8/22/05 Lozaan Steenkamp It exposes a society that stereotype certain people based upon their looks. 4 stars
6/27/05 tony good movie. I liked the plot. 4 stars
2/17/05 crandall101 like it 4 stars
9/17/04 A upton a waste of about an hour and a half, 1 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz Must see 5 stars
7/21/04 April Gupton love it 4 stars
7/18/04 Jen C. absolutely cute cute cute!!! feel good movie 5 stars
7/17/04 legend The movie was funnier than I thought it would be but not great. 4 stars
4/04/04 kirsty matthews this has gotta be the best film ever made ! i loved it soo much i bought a hole pink wardro 5 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr The only chick flick worth watching 4 stars
2/02/04 Helen Bradley Great movie best of decade in class 5 stars
2/02/04 Jaybird This movie is total ass 1 stars
1/07/04 Pinkline Jones I'd like to see Rheese Witherspoon in a different position 5 stars
11/07/03 Greggory sucks 1 stars
11/07/03 Jenna New i hated it!!!! 1 stars
10/19/03 Hinatsu no less stupid than Charelie's Angel 2 3 stars
10/15/03 Evil Olive Gee, Ashley, wish I'd seen the ovie instead of the movie! 1 stars
9/15/03 Tiffaney funny 5 stars
8/02/03 Ashlee The ovie was really funny and good. 5 stars
7/25/03 Christine Forget about the good intentions in this movie when she wins a court case with Cosmo advice 1 stars
7/18/03 chris there must be a better way i could have wasted two hours of my life. 1 stars
7/04/03 J no idea why they made a sequel to this!!!! 1 stars
7/01/03 Kathy Ramsey Pretty nice visually; really lousy script. 3 stars
6/18/03 Andrew Callaway At hearing the jokes from this movie... not only did I not laugh... I cryed. Predicible. 1 stars
5/07/03 Ashlee The ovie was really funny and good. 5 stars
5/07/03 Joesco reese was great and carried the movie but talk about slight ! 4 stars
4/23/03 Leah reese should be put down. SLOWLY. It wasn't cute. nor Sweet. nor FUNNY. Yet it spawns a seq 1 stars
4/09/03 JL a cute movie. 4 stars
3/21/03 May Q. Horney Oh yeah? Seemed to put down some who might fell less that perfect in there (sic) lives! 1 stars
3/18/03 Gwendolyn Vasquez This movie is very inspirational to everyone who feels less than perfect in there life. 5 stars
3/02/03 karen fucking bullshit. reese couldn't pick a decent role to save her life. 1 stars
2/24/03 cheif boot knocka I wish ted bundy could get his hands on that bitch 1 stars
2/17/03 Miranda Turner Well, Ashlee, wish I'd seen the ovie instead of the movie! 1 stars
2/10/03 Reese Witherspoon I wanted to prove I'm not a real blonde, but the asshole producers wouldn't let me. 1 stars
12/18/02 Ashlee The ovie was really funny and good. 5 stars
11/06/02 Ashley Corpening DUMB blond Reese Witherspoon could shit a 12 in. turd and think it came out sideways! 1 stars
11/01/02 Erica Great movie, had me laughing all along. 4 stars
10/29/02 Cool_chickie Pretty cool movie 5 stars
10/07/02 TheOthersFan Funniest movie since "Miss Congeniality". Who could forget that final courtroom scene? 5 stars
9/27/02 Espritlibre Great comedy and chick flick! Uplifiting 5 stars
8/23/02 Danielle Ophelia Painfully pedestrian Hollywood packages, redeemed by Reese's inimitable charm. 4 stars
8/20/02 fred she is hot 5 stars
4/15/02 nmvjh,v CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/31/02 Kakararniniginjia Sinitraviwasanjofraz Reese Witherspoon of creates cheese & CSU swan holds the scent of strawberries 2 stars
2/28/02 Chronically constipated dumb blonde Reese Witherspoon Me? Shit a 12 in. turd? In my dreams! 3 stars
2/28/02 seldom scene average comedy the professor had a large left ear 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Cute comedy. Love those outfits and the dog! 4 stars
1/26/02 Ashley Corpening DUMB blond R. Witherspoon could shit a 12 inch turd and think it came out sideways! 1 stars
1/04/02 Butterbean Yes it's predictable, but it's also one of the best "fish-out-of-water" movies out there. 4 stars
12/30/01 sarafina I'd rather eat my young 2 stars
12/20/01 Elizabeth Great 5 stars
12/18/01 Rampage Worse! I've seen worse! 1 stars
12/17/01 The Bomb 69 eh...I've seen better, predictable plot 3 stars
12/11/01 matthew smith delightful and very very funny, Resse Witherspoon is just brilliant 4 stars
12/04/01 auroradae a foofoo movie about valley girls a must see for nobody 1 stars
12/01/01 Phoenix Very funny and cute. Reese Witherspoon has never been more appealing. 5 stars
11/25/01 viking the "feel good" movie of the year !!!! 4 stars
11/15/01 daniboy could've been better 2 stars
11/13/01 Megan it was a good movie and had some funny parts added to it 4 stars
11/03/01 moviegoer funny, lame, cute, stupid, it's it all 4 stars
10/31/01 Jim Renwick Run of the numbers Teen flick but Reese is just too good. Worth seeing 4 stars
10/29/01 P.Rodriguez Started of Crap, but got better as it progessed. I loved the "you bitch" fag scene. 4 stars
10/22/01 Diane light and fun 4 stars
10/19/01 starpulp welcome brain candy! 5 stars
9/13/01 Seb Pansarella I think it was great. It was perfect although it did teach me to be myself and change 4 no1 4 stars
8/22/01 Tzila Seewald In the begining, iwas stupid BUT in the end it's was very good movie! 4 stars
8/21/01 ThatGuy Legally accurate, but the two lawyers were the only ones in the theater that were laughing. 4 stars
8/20/01 hilary awesome 5 stars
8/20/01 FrayLo starts off sketchy, turns out to be decent, give it a chance...i did 4 stars
8/15/01 onesmartcookie Blonde Ambition 4 stars
8/13/01 coolchickkiss i loved the way she solves the case with her knowledge of hair care. 5 stars
8/13/01 TL DO not waste your time or money...my gf even hated it. 1 stars
8/12/01 CRW Reese is great! An LOL movie. 5 stars
8/11/01 Benjamin Lesbian Craptacularly good! 3 stars
8/11/01 TheFirkin Could not get by the stupidity of the characters. This is totally American humour. 2 stars
8/10/01 bobtesch@earthlink.net Enjoyed! 4 stars
8/10/01 Connie I liked it. 5 stars
8/10/01 Russell Moker Liked it a lot but viewed as a comedy farce, not the gospel truth. It's a fun movie! 4 stars
8/09/01 Merrylue Charmaine Women LOVE this movie . . . Men Don't! Hmmmmm, I wonder why?! 4 stars
8/09/01 moviegoer Cute. Witherspoon does an excellent job and the romance part of the movie was well done. 4 stars
8/09/01 pinkbutterfly79 pretty good and entertaining I left the theater with a smile 4 stars
8/06/01 cheri a must see, i have already pre-ordered it on dvd, great fun 5 stars
8/05/01 Roy Smith Surprisingly good! And Ms Witherspoon looks great as a bunny! Yowza! 4 stars
8/03/01 Catie Great! Can't wait till in comes out on DVD! 5 stars
7/30/01 toneely Reese is the best!!!!! I loved this movie!!! 5 stars
7/28/01 Manlee Mann Guys can love this frothy post-teen comedy just as much as girls. I love you, Reese! 5 stars
7/27/01 sdfk I was told it exceeded its genre and it certainly did upon viewing. Go Reese. 4 stars
7/25/01 Timo I was pleasantly surprised 4 stars
7/24/01 Bash Good, light summer commedy 4 stars
7/23/01 Kristen This movie was incredibly awesome and it's my theme movie. Hooray for blondes & pink! 5 stars
7/22/01 Geebo My friend said it was a chick flick. It was, but I left the theater with a smile. 5 stars
7/20/01 Ben its damn good 4 stars
7/15/01 Unanon Not anywhere near as dull as I'd expected! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Jul-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Oct-2001 (M)




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