Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Legally Blonde

Lowdown: A modern day fairy tale.
I know I might be behind with the times, but up until now I didn't get to watch Legally Blonde (LB). Well, at least LB had won the honor of being the first ever feature film I got to watch of my new high definition PVR after it was recorded off channel 7.
LB's plot is fairly simple. Reese Witherspoon is the homecoming queen (whatever that is; I suspect it's some highly praised virtue in American culture) of her college. She's rich, she's stupidly spoiled, she's into the latest fashion, she's the envy of her colleagues, and even if she doesn't seem so she's very smart. As the film starts she's about to get herself engaged to the man of her dreams, but alas - the man of her dreams wants to become a senator and dumps her in favor of a girl who would look better by the side of a would be senator as he goes to Harvard Law to start his career.
Witherspoon doesn't give up and decides to follow her love to Harvard. She achieves the seemingly impossible and gets herself into Harvard Law (making it look so easy the pet snake Reggie should look into getting there) where she attempts to wage war and retrieve her lover. However, once in Harvard her original quest takes second place to getting herself acclimatized and managing to get through her studies in an environment very hostile to the seemingly idiot blonde. But guess what? Witherspoon pulls through, and by the end of the film she looks like she's ready to run LA Law.
Overall, LB is done to the very basic fairly tale formula. You can map it one to one with stories such as Snow White or Cinderella. However, that's not the point; the point is its comedy value, with the joke about the seemingly dumb blonde proving her smarts rather unexpectedly getting a very long stretch throughout the film. Thing is, stretched or not, it works; LB is a fun watch!
It's the fact that it manages to pull this feat through that makes it so good for its genre. It's not like it has an easy life: For a start, I find Witherspoon as attractive as your average grandmother. Then there's the problem of LB reeking of the same values Sex and the City flaunts about so openly, mainly that a woman is as good as what she wears, what she owns, and the man she's with. There is a difference between the two, though, which is the key to LB's success: LB doesn't take itself too seriously; it does it all with a wink.
Representative scene: After being intimidated through finding herself the only person in class using pen and paper (the rest are using now archaic looking laptop PCs), Witherspoon shows her edge and her style by being the only person in class to use a Mac. Surely that's all it takes to come at the top of your class in Harvard Law.
Overall: LB is the type of film you watch for an hour and a half of relaxing fun. 3.5 out of 5 stars of escapism.

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