LEGALLY BLONDE: In the sharply funny LEGALLY BLONDE, Reese Witherspoon gives a glittering performance as Elle Woods, the natural blonde sorority queen who enrolls at Harvard Law School. When she first appears, Elle seems to be no more than the bright cousin of CLUELESS's Alicia Silverstone. Expecting her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis), to propose, she is mortified when instead he says he needs somebody serious as his wife. When Elle discovers Warner's brother is engaged to a law student, she decides to go to Harvard. She studies for the LSATs, submits a video essay--in which she appears in a sequined bikini--and, miraculously, is accepted. At first, Elle is rebuked by Professor Stromwell (Holland Taylor) and is the target of snide comments from other students. But, gradually, it becomes clear that Elle is no fish out of water--she is smarter, more driven, and more likely to survive in the rarefied Harvard atmosphere than anyone else.
Witherspoon gets fine support from Selma Blair as Warner's new fiance, Jennifer Coolidge as a beautician, Victor Garber as an unscrupulous professor, Ali Larter as a client from Elle's sorority, Holland Taylor, and Luke Wilson as a lawyer fascinated by Elle's unconventional approach. The smart, witty script is by Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith. The first-time director is 28-year-old Australian Robert Luketic.
LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE, AND BLONDE: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) returns in all of her pink splendor in this sequel to LEGALLY BLONDE. This time, spunky lawyer Elle is in the midst of planning her wedding to law professor Emmett Richmond (Luke Wilson) when she realizes that she has to locate the mother of her pet Chihuahua, Bruiser, in order to include her on the guest list. A detective locates Bruiser's mom, only to find her in an animal testing facility. Determined to put an end to the practice and to free Bruiser's mom in time for the wedding, Elle heads to Washington, D.C., to work as a legislative aid to fellow Harvard Law alum, Representative Victoria Rudd (Sally Field). Unfortunately, Capitol Hill isn't as welcoming as Elle had hoped, and she finds herself learning about the darker side of Washington politics. Undeterred, the ever-optimistic Elle enlists her friends to help in her campaign to stop animal testing. Witherspoon is delightful as the wide-eyed, good-hearted Elle. Bob Newhart stars as her politically aware doorman, and Jennifer Coolidge reprises her role as Paulette, Elle's personal beauty consultant. Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, the film also stars Regina King, Bruce McGill, and Dana Ivey.