I know half of you reading this are already laughing. How can a female-led comedy about a seemingly ditzy blonde going to Harvard Law School to try to win back her man be one of the best films ever created? Well, because it is, so screw you.
When you really take a closer look, “Legally Blonde” is actually pretty unconventional for a female comedy. Sure, there are jokes about appearances and some women knowing more about fashion than others, but at its core it is probably one of the most feminist movies out there.
Let’s begin with analysis of the main character Elle Woods. At the beginning of the film, Elle is focused on one thing: winning the douchetastic Warner back who has left her behind to go to Harvard and find “a Jackie, not a Marilyn.” (Sidenote: A man has never said words that made me want to punch him more). Elle applies herself and proves not only Warner wrong, but her school counselor and parents as well, and gets into Harvard based off of her own merits and test scores.
Elle has a rough start, to say the least. The other students view her as “less than” because she is blonde and seems ditzy, and she finds that Warner has already proposed to another girl. Here’s what is important though: Elle never has anything negative to say about another person, especially a fellow girl. When Warner’s new fiancé is horrendous to her because of jealousy, she does not respond in retaliation. Instead, it fuels Elle to be a better person and focus on her studies more than ever before.
Speaking of Vivian, here is another example of excellent character growth in the film. As it becomes clear that Elle is not trying to ruin her relationship with Warner, and as she begins to understand what a real loser he is, she actually befriends Elle. The friendship is wary at first, with a bond over what a moronic cretin Warner truly is, and it almost falls into shambles when Vivian assumes (which makes an ass out of you and me) that Elle has slept her way into the prestigious internship with Callahan after seeing him preposition Elle for sex. When she realizes that Callahan was sexually harassing Elle, Vivian realizes “what an idiot” she had been and quickly comes to Elle’s aid and returns by her side as Elle kicks lawyer butt and wins a case. Elle has a plethora of other supportive female friends who help crush the Bechdel test to the grounds, such as Paulette, Brooke, Serena and Margot, and even one of her professors.
In the end, Elle succeeds in school and becomes valedictorian in order to impress nobody except herself; she is not longer seeking validation from the human equivalent of a walking piece of feces, or any other man or woman.
Which, brings up one of the most amazing things about the film that no one realizes: ELLE NEVER KISSES OR HAS REAL ROMANTIC TENSION WITH HER LOVE INTEREST EMMETT. Please, read that line again, because it is 100% a true statement. Elle and Emmett’s relationship is one that is built and thrives off of pure support, as any good relationship should be. Their romantic relationship is almost an afterthought, with the only real hint at it being that the ending shots say that Emmet is going to propose to her after law school graduation. There is no big romantic moment because this is not a romantic film, but rather about one woman’s journey to becoming accomplished and realizing her full potential on her own. Elle Woods does not need a man, but it just so happens she gets one.
I rest my case on why this is one of the best movies ever made.