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Movie Review

Legally Blonde

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual references

Reviewed by: Sarah Ayotte
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teen to Adult
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2001
USA Release:
July 13, 2001
poster Resse Witherspoon and Luke Wilson in “Legally Blonde”
Relevant Issues
Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde

What part should morality play in politics? Answer

Does character matter in political leaders? Answer

Voting—Do Christians have an obligation to vote? Answer

Should Christians seek political power or should we only focus on evangelism? Answer

Featuring: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Davis, Selma Blair, Luke Wilson, Victor Garber
Director: Robert Luketic
Producer: Marc Platt, Ric Kidney
Distributor: MGM

“Legally Blonde” is a lighthearted comedy that can be either amusing and entertaining or shocking and objectionable.

Elle Woods is a young college grad who is miffed when her boyfriend dumps her to go to law school. Elle, after a brief period of wallowing in despair, heads off to law school herself to get her boyfriend back by proving that she is highly qualified to be the “more serious” girl that he wants. From there, her adventures abound as the “Cosmo”-reading, puppy-toting Beverly Hills ex-resident heads to Harvard Law, meeting with serious opposition in all forms. Her quest alters to a more serious mode when she sets out to prove herself as an intelligent human being instead of the “typical Blonde” she is treated as.

“…Blonde” is a lighthearted and typical movie one expects from Hollywood. That includes the comic references to sexual activity, the occasional swearing, using the Lord’s name in vain, and references to homosexuals. Despite these things, the film comes across as a feel good triumph for underdogs everywhere. The biggest problem is the films’ warped view of morality. Elle does make some “morally good” decisions, but at times goes about doing the right thing in the wrong way. (Such as lying in at least two instances to help out some helpless friends). Her refusal to give sexual favors, and her determination to help the unjustly persecuted are signs of a good heart and strong spirit. It does seem hard to believe, though, that a girl raised by such superficial parents and who never had to work for anything in life would automatically have the unselfish instinct to befriend others in need (regardless of whatever social hardships she faced for being blonde.)

The overall message of the film is uplifting, if you’re willing to deal with the other immoral aspects of the film. Not recommended for a younger audience. Especially those who have problems discerning Biblical principals from the popular morality that is upheld in the movie.


Viewer Comments
Okay, I have to admit I wasn’t laughing through the whole movie, but it did have it’s very cute moments and some scenes that were actually very funny. Which make this movie all around just fluffy, charming entertainment I wouldn’t mind seeing again.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Melissa, age 15
I thought it was much better than I expected, and that Reese Witherspoon is great. It showed good character development and actually some reasonable moral tone, which is unusual. No nudity, very little bad words (I don’t remember any, but I probably missed them.) Helping others unselfishly is done repeatedly. No religious references of any kind appear, pro or con. I don’t see why it had a PG-13 rating rather than PG. I liked it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Doug, age 45
Legally Blonde was an okay movie. The plot was predictable but bearable, the acting was not bad at all, and it was a definite spin off from Clueless. Elle has a good heart. She doesn’t take revenge (except from wanting to steal back her boyfriend from this mean girl) usually, and tries always to make people feel better. But this film has quite a lot of little caveats. Even though there is no sex scene and absolutely no violence, there are lots of “oh my g__”, and there are lots of gay and lesbian people involved in the story. At least 3. Elle also refers to a “great, excellent one night stand” with this guy, hoping to help his social life. Also, the whole film is extremely shallow. Even though Elle is a very nice ditz, she is still a complete ditz. She goes to Harvard not to study, but to get her boyfriend (her intentions change later though, thankfully). She lives for makeup, clothes and manicures and seriously knows nothing else! But her heart is very good and considerate…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2½]
—Nadia K, age 16
I thought this movie was very enjoyable but I wouldn’t say it was too clean. I thought the message was good that you can be whoever you want to be. I wouldn’t recomend it for younger children.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Christine, age 14
I thought this movie was cute. I had a lot of fun seeing it and so did my mom. It had a couple of inappropriate jokes about body parts, but nothing too horrible. I would recommend this movie to anyone who just wants to go to a movie and laugh.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Kelsey, age 14
This movie is by far one of the funniest most clean and well thought out movies I have seen this year! it’s one of those rare movies that you can go see with all of the family! it’s hysterical! And all in all should have been rated PG! it’s a clean movie! Go see this movie!
My Ratings: [5]
—Matt, age 21
This was a fun, good-natured comedy that made me and my husband smile. I agree that there wasn’t much to object to—no sex, and the language was pretty mild. It was kind of like a “Clueless in Court,” except where Cher in “Clueless” was amongst her peers, Elle is a fish out of water, a perky, fun-loving fashion plate in a sea of “serious” students. Although it surely wasn’t the intent of the film, her situation sort of reminded me in an offhand way what it’s like to be a Christian in a Christ-unfriendly world, and how we need to keep our heads high, even when seemingly everyone around us thinks we’re nuts. A couple of nice lessons were not to judge others on their outward appearances (Elle is just as smart as most of the others), sticking to your standards (Elle refuses to reveal the details of a confidential conversation that could help the case they’re working on, despite pressure from her professor and fellow students, and also refuses to give in to a professor’s sexual advances to ensure her academic and professional future), and forgiveness (a former enemy becomes one of Elle’s good friends). This could provide a lot of good discussion material for parents with their teens, especially daughters. Highly enjoyable.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Shirliee, age 40
I saw this movie with my dad, my sister, and my cousin. I expected a “dumb” blonde just finding all these crazy ways to get her “sweetheart” back. But no, it’s more than that. it’s about a girl who first only went to Harvard to, yes, get her boyfriend back, but soon discovers that she does not fit in, and also, that he is joined with someone else. So, she does not give up. She tries hard in her classes and makes a great new friend and finds herself in a murder case! While solving the case, she discovers her “love” is a jerk and then two years later, graduates to a great lawyer position. Overall, this is a great must-see for movie-lovers!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Olivia, age 13
This is definitely the cutest movie I’ve seen yet this year! It was funny, and most of the humor was in good taste, it was inspiring, too. I will definitely rent it when it comes on video.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Jean W., age 16
My boyfriend and I (both Christians) went and saw this movie. We both thought that it was a cute movie although I did cover his eyes at the beginning where there are sorority girls in their underwear. It was good in showing the importance of being yourself no matter what the “norm” is and the importance of keeping a confidence. Also, it shows that if you work hard and apply yourself you can excel at what you want to. Overall, I would see it again. Only change I would make would be no profanity… you can get the same point across without it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Melissa Spencer, age 18
Me and my cousin saw this movie yesterday with some friends. The basic outline of the story was really good. However, the added comments, unnecessary scenes, and jokes were unneeded. The movie was not as good as we thought it was going to be. Some cussing, some cleavage, and not a good movie in a Christian’s point of view. But in the movie the girl does stand up for herself and others. And when put to the test thinks of others before herself when she is tempted to do otherwise. Keeps her promises… so some good morals in it. A cute movie we might watch again. We give it a three.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Shannon and Sydney, ages 12 and 11
We do not have air conditioning and I needed to get out of the house. I checked out some of the viewer comments on this page and decided to go to Legally Blond. This movie was definitely fun. The “dumb,” apparently shallow, blond, proves she can work to attain a goal that others deem impossible. The plot was predictable, and yet, done so charmingly, it heightened enjoyment. She is praised for being “classy” in not betraying a confidence and is a good friend to her classmates. The G d word was used once and J C was used once also. I didn’t notice any other profanity. There were no sex scenes, or vulgarity of any kind. There was a very small scene at the beginning of the movie where the female sorority girls were scantilly clad in underwear. Another point parents would like to be aware of was when the main character held up her fashion Magazine and referred to it as her guide to life, her “bible.” This could open an interesting discussion at home about the TRUE guide for life. The movie was a lot of fun through the very end when our heroine makes a great speech at her graduation. I took my 15 year old daughter with me and we both think that even though this was a very mild PG-13, it was rightly rated in that we think it is definitely for junior high or older. I would like to watch it again.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Sharon, age 48
What a fun movie! I went with a few friends, and was shocked at the audience diversity. In the theater were 6 year-old girls and boys (which wasn’t appropriate for their age) all the way up to senior citizens. As I waited outside the theater after the film, the chatter indicated that the film was enjoyed by all age ranges, including myself. Aside from the few homosexual portions of the film, this is one of the best and cleanest PG-13 comedies to hit theaters in a long time. There is no “F” word which has become so typical in films nowadays, and while there is some profanity, it is at a bare minimum—equal to your average PG rated flick. it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, and if Sandra Bullock can get a Golden Globe nomination for the funny “Miss Congeniality”, then it would be no shocker if Reese Witherspoon received a nod for this. Selma Blair (her nemesis in the film/best friend in real life) also is good. I would see this film over and over, and I would recommend it for anyone over ten years.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—John W, age Teen
I thought Legally Blonde was a very entertaining film. The gay characters and profanity were totally unnecessary, but other than that it was a good film that can be enjoyed by teens and their parents.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Dustin Foree, age 13
Legally Blonde was such a good movie! It had my attention the whole time and was never boring! Many funny and cute parts! Definitely see it!
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Kaley, age 14
Legally Blonde was a movie that I would definitely see again. Although the movie did have some language which is expected in any movie these days. It didn’t have a lot of it and the moral of the story was good. It was definitely a comedy movie for it did have some funny parts. I think that seeing this movie would be okay, but be aware that it does have some ungodly remarks in it.Overall, this movie had a good storyline and I would defianltly see it again, probably because it hits so close to home.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Nina Palazzolo, age 13
I loved this movie! As a natural blonde myself I have often been labeled as a “dumb blonde”. This movie showed how a blonde or anyone for that matter can make a difference in the world if they really try. Yes, there was some bad language and everything else but I think that it was pretty mild compared to some movies that I’ve seen. Even if the storyline is predictable and unbelievable it’s still funny and makes a good movie!
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Julia Scott, age 14
extremely funny for any young girl or boy teen to see. There was one G d word and several other uses of profanity but there was no f-word. Yes, there is some sexual references and 2 gay characters, but there was no dirty sex or any sex scenes of any type. This was entertaining very funny and Reese Witherspoon did a nice job in the role. The story line was also very good! Bravo, Hollywood did a good job with this one!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Jenna, age 13
…very mild for a PG-13 rating. There is only some swearing and a few sexually related jokes. The movie was extremely funny and light-hearted. I recommend it to everyone!
My Ratings: [Average / 4½]
—Julie, age 18
…a very funny movie and a movie you can actually take your whole family to! There are some mild curse words in it but nothing too extreme and if you’re not listening for them you won’t hear them. All in all a really good movie!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Matt, age 21
Movie Critics
…a delightfully funny, goofy comedy that provides what this summer needs—simple entertainment…[but] frequent vulgar language…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…sexually related dialogue… several homosexual characters…
—ScreenIt!
…a lax attitude toward sexuality, drugs and foul language…
—Dr. Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…1 religious profanity, 10 religious exclamations… 10 mild obscenities…
—Kids-in-Mind