"Proof positive that one actor can save a movie from the trash heap."
Last year I gave a four-star rating to a movie called Miss Congeniality. People familiar with my constant bashing of pathetic Hollywood product were devastated and took to walking off of nearby cliffs, much like the lowly lemming. To these people, I must ask you to turn away and not read my review. Because god help me, I liked Legally Blonde, and for the same reason I like that other one: A cute, funny actress who turns crap into cinema with one flick of her hair. Last year is it was Sandra Bullock. This time, it's the lovely Reese Witherspoon.Before you get the wrong idea: NO, I do not recommend these movies just because of a pretty smile and a nice body (although these factors certainly don't hurt). Lightweight piffle certainly has a place in Hollywood, and when such piffle is illuminated by a stellar female comedic performance that's when a movie earns some praise.
Because let's face it: A movie like Legally Blonde isn't going to earn any recommendations based on its art direction or brilliant screenplay. This is a movie about a sweet blonde dimbulb who applies to Harvard to chase her big jerk of an ex-boyfriend! We're not talking Peter Greenaway territory here, folks.
Reese Witherspoon is a force of nature, and I'm not just referring to her lovely figure. Much like Alicia Silverstone tried to do (with varying degrees of success) in Clueless, Witherspoon makes the audience adore a character that, by all accounts, we should probably hate. It's a testament to her sunny visage and skillful comic timing that this movie ever made it above a 2-star rating from any critic in the known universe.
Reese is Elle Woods, a pampered and dainty coed with a heart of gold-plated gold. Expecting a marriage proposal from her chiseled boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis), she instead finds herself promptly dumped and heartbroken. Since Warner is looking for a politically correct "serious" wife, he has no need for the bumbling and bubbly Elle and cuts her loose in rather cruel fashion. Elle decides that the best way to change his mind is to follow him to Harvard Law School, and become the "serious" gal Warner craves.
If all this sounds like a pretty stupid movie...well, you'd be right. But Witherspoon single-handedly saves this movie from mediocrity about 35 times. OK, not single-handedly. Luke Wilson and Holland Taylor have a little fun with their parts as well. This is lightweight, non-demanding yet not intelligence-insulting brain candy. The perfect kind of flick for when you want a nice mindless laugh or two.If you're the kind of person who says "Oh, like THAT would ever happen!" while watching comedy movies, you're best advised to stay away from Legally Blonde. It's a trite and predictable movie, but not bad enough to truly trash. For a few solid gags and a near-perfect comic performance from Reese Witherspoon, this one is definitely worth a matinee ticket or a DVD rental on a rainy Sunday.