Legally Blonde – Desperate to win back her beloved, Warren, ditzy sorority girl, Elle Woods, secures a place in Harvard law school but when she realises she’ll never be good enough for him, she becomes determined to study hard and prove her worth. With her outward appearance and pink persona causing prejudice wherever she goes, she has an uphill battle to not only be taken seriously but also stick to her principles but with everyone underestimating her, will her new-found desire for career and education cause her to blossom or bust?

Legally Blonde (2001) – Director: Robert Luketic

Is Legally Blonde appropriate for kids?

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11814082

Rating: 12

Running Length: 96 mins

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair

Genre: Comedy

‘LEGALLY BLONDE’ REVIEW

Based upon the novel of the same name by Amanda Brown and spawning both a sequel and its own musical, ‘Legally Blonde’ is more than just the chick-flick it initially appears to be. Sorority girls get a bad rep in Hollywood for being unintelligent, preening bimbos and when ‘Legally Blonde’ begins, this stereotype seems to continue but soon Elle Woods proves that there is more to her than meets the eye. By the end of the movie, Elle goes from someone to laugh at and pity to someone to admire which is an impressive feat for a one and a half hour movie.

Reese Witherspoon plays Elle, a young woman who has so much potential just brimming under the surface and with everyone around her assuming that she’s only capable of living up to her stereotype, its only her doggedness that nudges her into discovering just how far she can go. Thankfully, despite two male co-stars occupying Elle’s time; ex-boyfriend, Warren (played by Matthew Davis), and new love interest Emmett (played by Luke Wilson) the movie never swerves into cut and paste romance. Instead the narrative has the confidence to stay focused on Elle’s journey from dismissed to respected. Unlike so many other movies where the declaration of love marks the peak of the plot, ‘Legally Blonde’ balances proceedings perfectly so that Elle’s arc never relies on a man to make her happy.

While there’s no escaping ‘Legally Blonde’ being a chick-flick, which may put people off, it is certainly a chick-flick with a difference. It has a truly feminist heroine who makes mistakes, learns from them, stays true to and fights for her friends and has more integrity than not only her peers but also her superiors. ‘Legally Blonde’ is a surprisingly great comedy and its not just Elle’s cohorts that get a shock from her transformation, the audience are set to be impressed too.

CONTENT: IS ‘LEGALLY BLONDE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

Most of the inappropriate content comes from the dialogue which is heavily ‘teen’ based. A teen girl hears the term ‘LSATs’ (short for Law School Admission Tests) and misunderstands what they are; she says ‘My cousin had that, apparently you get a really bad rash..’ while pointing downwards towards her crotch – she clearly believes LSATs to be a STI. Another character fully accepts that the main reason she passed her Spanish grade is because she gave the professor a lapdance.

A young woman wears a bikini which shows some cleavage. Later in the movie, she wears this bikini in order to distract a love interest. Other boys who are playing sports with him ogle the woman, she is aware of them and smiles at the attention.

Students and a teacher discuss a law case and there are several mentions of ‘sperm donor’ and ‘sperm emissions’. While these terms are used in a clinical sense, some parents may be uncomfortable with younger children hearing these them, especially as this scene lasts several minutes and the subject is discusses at length.

During a case Elle is working on, a woman is accused of murdering her husband. One character says that she was ‘standing over the body, covered in his blood’, other similar wording is used throughout whenever this case is discussed. As her husband was 34 years older than her, there is doubt over whether she truly loved him or was only interested in his money, she tells someone to ‘show (them) a picture of his dick, that might clear some things up’ implying that his prowess in the bedroom is what she was mainly interested in.

A male character is brutally rejected by a girl he asks out on a date. As he is one of Elle’s friends, she helps him out by pretending to have spent a night with him only to have been ignored afterwards. Elle’s (non-graphic) description of the ‘pleasure’ he gave her entices the other girl to give him a chance.

A male character, in a position of authority attempts to seduce one of his students by intimately stroking her leg. She is horrified and angry that he does this and immediately walks away; she tells other characters that he tried to ‘feel (me) up’ and he ‘saw (me) as a piece of ass’.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘LEGALLY BLONDE’ FOR KIDS?

Although chick-flicks may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as ‘Legally Blonde’ fits more into the comedy genre and has such a strong, well-written female lead, it’s worth giving it a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised. As much of the language is not child-friendly, we recommend this movie for kids aged 12 and over.

  • Violence: 0/5
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (Elle is often disappointed and hurt by the way she is treated by others but always manages to rise above it)
  • Fear Factor: 0/5
  • Sexual Content: 3/5 (All dialogue based)
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (frequent moderate cursing and blasphemy, in addition the terms ‘dyke’, ‘spastic’ and ‘retard’ are used as insults. One character who s dumbfounded by something asks ‘am I on glue?’)
  • Dialogue: 4/5
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of sorority girls, underestimating others, rising to a challenge, determination, embracing your intelligence even when you don’t ‘need’ to, loyalty, integrity, standing your ground when you know you are right and being let down by those you respect.

Words by Laura Record

 

Legally Blonde


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