Legally Blonde has been woven into our collective cultural tapestry. It is littered with epic moments and unforgettable quips. It's also always on TV and impossibly watchable so we're all constantly reminded of how freaking unbelievable this movie is. But. There is always a But. There are some things that just don't make any sense. And they bother me guys. So, without further ado, here are some things that still bother me about Legally Blonde.
The whole crux of the conflict in this film is that after graduation, Warner breaks up with Elle so he can go on to attend Harvard Law School. Meanwhile, Elle is a sorority girl who is focused on fashion and social events. If Warner is truly the intellectual powerhouse he is supposed to be, why is he attending the same undergraduate school as ostensibly ditsy Elle in the first place? It is later revealed that Warner's blue blood legacy helped him end up at Harvard Law, but why is someone as WASP-y as him at some state school in Southern California to begin with?
The application time frame is all messed up here. Warner reveals that he is attending Harvard Law School at the end of the academic year, presumably starting the following fall. Somehow, over the course of a great montage scene, Elle takes the LSATS, puts together her application video, applies to Harvard, and gets accepted all before the start of 1L. When she arrives at Harvard, Elle seems to be a part of Warner and Vivian's graduating class. No questions asked.
This isn't a huge deal but it is definitely not addressed. I am not sure where you went to college, but when you live in University housing, there is almost always a policy against keeping pets in the dormitory. Elle waltzes into Harvard on the first day-- decks her room out in pink accoutrements and brings her tiny Chihuahua Brewster with her. He lives there throughout her whole career there and the issue is never once broached by the administration.
This is ridiculous. I understand that she has a loyal fanbase from her fitness tapes empire, but she is being accused of homicide. Why would she continue concealing her alibi when she is literally facing a lifetime in prison? It's completely irrational. Perhaps even more absurd is that Elle vows to keep her secret-- despite it being legally and fundamentally unwise.
In the final court scene, Elle is allowed to practice law according to a rule in which "senior law students" who have taken a class in evidence can appear as an attorney. At this point in the movie, Elle is just finishing her first year of law school. That in no way makes her "senior" and I don't recall her specifically taking any classes in evidence. But boy is it great when she gets up there, right?
By the end of the film, Elle finds herself as the lawyer for Brooke's case and ultimately wins against all odds. Basically, her in-depth knowledge of a cosmetic procedure (the perm) allows her to stealthily tease the answer out of her witness. She is then hired by an outstanding firm and everyone lives happily ever after. But Elle doesn't actually demonstrate her chops as a lawyer, rather she just re-enforces her skills as an image obsessed girl. If not for the very specific luck in this final scene, Elle would not have been the hero she ends up as in this film.
The daughter of the victim initially claims that she did not hear the gunshot because she was in the shower. This is important later on because Elle uses her "shower alibi" against her, claiming that no perm aficionado would ever dampen her hair after the treatment. But the excuse doesn't really make any sense in the first place. No matter how big this house is, who the hell can't hear a live gunshot over the sound of a shower. People hear me singing Adele over the stream of water all the time.
In addition to a whole slew of gender stereotypes, this movie has a problematic depiction of homosexual characters. Although the victim's daughter claims that Brooke was having an affair with the poolboy, Elle discovers that he is gay when she taps her foot waiting behind him at the water fountain. Enrique, in a notorious line, tells her not to "tap those last season Prada shoes." This is sort of ridiculous, since it is basically using the stereotype that all gay people care and know a lot about high fashion. Can all gay people afford to dress themselves with the most elegant couture? Hmmm.....
From a distance, the message of this movie is that even girly girls can accomplish the same things men can and more. Up close, there are a lot of problems concerning gender stereotypes and expectations that are kind of backwards. Elle is femme to the nth degree -- she is overly concerned with her appearance and she interacts with the other female characters via cosmetics and discussing men. Overcoming her sorority background,she is able to make it to Harvard Law School and excel in the trial. The movie sort ends up making the point that women can succeed where men can by leveraging the things that makes them girls. Elle essentially relies on her Valley Girl background, not her academic potential, as the foundation for her eventual success. A more egalitarian ending might have her succeeding using superior legal intellect that rivals those of the men in the movies.
Granted it would be boring to sit through a real one, but nonetheless this is pretty ridiculous. She ties up the movie in a few culminative statements and gives knowing nods to all the important characters. Then she's out of there and we're left with Hoku's "Perfect Day" and the credits. I guess we can't complain about that.