Legally Blonde

on July 13, 2001 by Bridget Byrne
Like its lead character, "Legally Blonde" is a comedy with integrity. It may be all gussied up in a pretty package, tied with a flouncy bow, but within it's true to itself and confident of its abilities. It may be a piece of froth but it wells up from a genuine source and remains gleaming and appealing, unsullied by the usual crass, foul-mouthed, ugly stuff that usually mars comedies about today's bright young things. It doesn't really amount to much, but it's neat and sweet and fun. It's burdened with some of the hard-sell shellac that Hollywood believes audiences can't do without--including too much loud music--but that doesn't mean it's schlock. A glass of fizzy pop, it is a refreshing antidote to the world-weary yucks that abound in most youth-appeal movies.

   Reese Witherspoon never wears out her welcome as the blonde, sparkling, think-pink California girl, Elle. Even when the script sags, Witherspoon never does. Like that battery-powered bunny she keeps going and going, comfortably in tune with both the outer frou-frou and the inner decency of this glamour girl who invades Harvard Law School in pursuit of her beau but ends up finding she's got many more smarts than she or anyone else ever noticed.

   The film's supporting characters, both helpmates and obstacles on her journey to self-discovery, are less well-rounded than Elle, but the actors do their best to make them as whole as possible. Director Robert Luketic, making his feature film debut, shows he understands people don't have to make asses of themselves in order to be funny. There are a few moments when jokes pop up that are not essential to the storyline or true to the characters, but overall the tone is witty rather than witless. Even Elle's pet Chihuahua is allowed the courtesy of being humorous without playing false to natural poochiness. Like both Elle and the movie, the dog is cute, bright eyed, innately smart and good natured. The flashy clothes it wears are just trendy window dressing; the goods within are keepers Starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis and Victor Garber. Directed by Robert Luketic. Written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Produced by Marc Platt and Ric Kidney. A MGM release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for language and sexual references. Running time: 96 min

Tags: Starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber, Directed by Robert Luketic. Written by Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith, Produced by Marc Platt, Ric Kidney, MGM, Comedy

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