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Legally Blonde is a American comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon, produced by Marc E. Platt for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios and directed by Robert Luketic. It is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Amanda Brown.

The film tells the story of fashion merchandising major and bubbly sorority girl Elle Woods' quest to be regarded seriously at Harvard Law Schoolmarker, and to win back her boyfriend Warner.

The film was a Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy; Witherspoon's performance also received a nomination.

Legally Blonde ranks number 29 on Bravo's 2007 list of "100 Funniest Movies".

The movie's box office success spawned a 2003 sequel, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde and 2009 direct-to-DVD sequel, Legally Blondes. Additionally, Legally Blonde: The Musical premiered on January 23, 2007 in San Franciscomarker and opened in New York Citymarker at the Palace Theatremarker on Broadwaymarker on April 29, 2007, starring Laura Bell Bundy. The musical has since closed on Broadway.


When beautiful sorority president Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is asked to dinner with her boyfriend, Harvard law student Warner, she believes he is proposing. Instead, Warner ends the relationship in favor of someone more serious. To prove herself to him, Elle applies to Harvard and, due to her unconventional application, is accepted.

Elle's law school experience is not as good as she initially hoped; the professor of her first class, Professor Stromwell, kicks her out of class for not completing her reading assignment. Elle also discovers Warner is engaged to another law student, Vivian Kensington (Selma Blair), who is hostile to Elle. Devastated, Elle drives to a beauty and nail salon, expressing her misery and her regret of going to law school to her manicurist, Paulette Bonafonte (Jennifer Coolidge), whom Elle quickly befriends.

After Vivian cruelly tricks Elle, Elle is determined to do well at law school, studying hard and impressing her professors. This leads her to win an internship with Professor Callahan (Victor Garber), along with Warner, Vivian and Enid Wexler (Meredith Scott lynn). Their case is to defend Brooke Taylor-Wyndham (Ali Larter), a famous fitness instructor, accused of murdering her billionaire husband Hayworth Wyndham. Elle remembers Brooke as her own fitness instructor and a member of Delta Nu, and consequently believes in Brooke's innocence. Two witness accounts made by Brooke’s stepdaughter Chutney Wyndham (Linda Cardellini) and one by the household’s “cabana boy”, Enrique Salvatore (Greg Sarano), said that they saw Brooke standing over her husband’s dead body, covered in his blood, thus solidifying Brooke's guilt. Enrique claims to have had an affair with Brooke, and Brooke is unwilling to give Callahan her alibi.

Elle visits Brooke in prison, and manages to get Brooke's alibi: Brooke had liposuction on the day of the murder . Shocked and knowing that it will ruin Brooke's reputation. Elle assures Brooke that she will keep it a secret. Elle refuses to give Callahan the alibi, saying she made a promise. Vivian is impressed by Elle’s commitment and her hostility towards Elle disappears, and they start to become friends.

Elle uses her knowledge of fashion and female intuition to help her move closer to winning the trial, most notably deducing that Enrique is gay after he correctly identifies her shoe style. Elle exclaims her find to Callahan and Emmett. During the trial, Emmett asks the name of Enrique's boyfriend, to which Enrique answers "Chuck", to the astonishment of the courtroom. Which he quickly tries to cover up by saying that Chuck is just a friend, and Chuck who just happens to be sitting in the court room at the time, screams out at Enrique, proving that Enrique is gay and was lying about his affair with Brooke.

An impressed Callahan has a private discussion with Elle about her future career, but makes advances on her. Vivian sees this, but not Elle's reaction. Vivian lashes out at Elle, who is convinced she'll never be taken seriously; she makes plans to return to California. Elle bids Paulette farewell, but she encounters Professor Stromwell who encourages her. Emmett reveals the truth about Callahan and Elle's encounter, Elle returns to court and Brooke fires Callahan, hiring Elle as her new attorney, with Emmett supervising her.

During her cross-examination, Chutney Windham, claims to have been taking a shower and washing her hair at the time of the murder, and the noise drowned out the gunshot. Elle discovers that Chutney had a perm earlier that day, but a shower would have deactivated the ammonium thioglycolate and would have ruined her curls. Chutney finally breaks down in tears and confesses to accidentally shooting Hayworth, because she thought it was Brooke; due to the fact that she despised Brooke for being the same age as her. The entire courtroom gasps in shock; Brooke is exonerated and Chutney is arrested for murder. While leaving the courthouse, Warner admits he underestimated Elle, and wants her back, but is rejected.

The epilogue, set at the graduation ceremony, shows that Elle graduated from Harvard as the class-elected speaker of her graduate class with high honors, and she has been recommended to one of Boston's most successful law firms. Elle's best friend Vivian called off her engagement. Paulette is now the UPS guy's (Bruce Thomas) wife, and they are expecting a baby which they will name Elle. Emmett has quit working for Callahan and started his own practice, is now Elle's boyfriend of two years, and is revealed to be planning to propose to Elle the night of the graduation.



The film was met with a mixed to generally positive reception from critics, earning "fresh rating" of 68% positive ratings in the Rotten Tomatoes compilation of 130 reviews. Most reviews lauded Reese Witherspoon's lead performance even if they denigrated the overall merit of the film. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 59 out of 100, based on 31 reviews.

The movie was an unexpected hit, grossing over $20 million in its opening weekend and ending its run with over $96 million in the United States and more than $141 million worldwide. It made Witherspoon an A-list actress and one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood (she would be paid $15 million to star in the sequel). After this movie, Witherspoon had a string of hit movies including the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama and Walk the Line, the latter landing her an Oscar for Best Actress for playing June Carter.


Top Hip Hop choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo choreographed the "Bend and Snap" routine before they achieved greater fame as choreographers for the hit FOX show So You Think You Can Dance.

Although the film's setting is Harvard Universitymarker, it was actually filmed at USCmarker, UCLAmarker, Caltechmarker, and Rose City High School in Pasadena, California. The real Harvard only appears briefly in certain aerial shots.

The film was originally set to take place at the University of Chicago Law School, but administration at the school did not approve the film, because of a scene in which a professor places his hand on Elle's leg.

The producers intentionally gave Elle a different hairstyle for every scene.

This was the second film that Witherspoon and Blair starred in together, the first being Cruel Intentions.

This is also the second film that Witherspoon and Alanna Ubach starred in together, the first being Freeway.

The opening song and main theme, "Perfect Day", was performed by Hoku.


In 2007, a musical adaption premiered on Broadway to mostly positive reviews, starring Laura Bell Bundy as Elle, Christian Borle as Emmett, Orfeh as Paulette, Nikki Snelson as Brooke, Richard H. Blake as Warner, Kate Shindle as Vivienne, and Michael Rupert as Callahan. Other cast members included Andy Karl, Leslie Kritzer, Annaleigh Ashford, DeQuina Moore, and Natalie Joy Johnson. The show, Bundy, Borle, and Orfeh were all nominated for Tony Awards. Later, the Broadway show was the focus of an MTV reality TV series called Legally Blonde - The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, in which the winner would take over the role of Elle on Broadway. Bailey Hanks from Anderson, South Carolina, won the competition.

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