Legally Blonde (2001)

(In theaters, October 2001) The concept is comedic gold (a California ditz applies herself to become a successful Harvard law student… and succeeds), the trailer makes it appear as if it’s got potential and yet the film is curiously tepid. While the blonde protagonist is supposed to be misunderstood and smart (ie; can do anything if she works at it), there’s scarcely more than a hint of cleverness in her actions. She essentially remains a bubblehead throughout, as her supposed intellectual capacity is never equalled by emotional maturity. A trifle, you’ll say, and yet it’s emblematic of a script that tries to have it multiple ways without really facing any consequence. There is, for instance, a gratuitous sexual harassment subplot that doesn’t quite seem to fit. That’s not even mentioning the legal simplicities that will make you scream “objection!” at the screen. (I do mean this literally.) Oh, it’s a pleasant film all right. It just never does anything more with the concept. Like its protagonist, it’s a superficial motion picture that might hint at greater potential but never really convinces. Non-threatening. The kind of film you rent to show to the whole family, if only because no one is likely to be offended by it.

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