“Legally Blonde”: What’s the verdict?

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Maddie Whisenant, Opinion Writer

With the theatre department’s rendition of “Legally Blonde” just around the corner, it’s important to know what to expect in companion to the original movie. This production received the MTV Music Award for Best Comedic Performance and the MTV Movie Award for Best Dressed, just to name a few.
The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, who is a confident, pink-clad girl who will do anything to get what she wants. Her friends include her hair and nail technician, Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge), Margot (Jessica Cauffiel) and Serena (Alana Ubach). She is the president of her sorority and in a loving relationship with her boyfriend, Warner (Matthew Davis). The movie is centered around Elle and her struggle to get her boyfriend back while discovering her newfound passion for law.
The costumes in “Legally Blonde” caught my attention. Brightly colored skirts, sequined bikinis, jean jackets and beaded necklaces were all the rage in the early 2000’s when this movie was released. One would think that finding costumes for the character of Elle Woods would not be that difficult as she wears pink almost every day. However, it might be a little more difficult to find professional business attire in bright pink. The costume designers did not fail to meet the challenge. During the trial towards the end of the movie, Elle wears an eye-catching, hot pink dress with a sequined collar. In the introduction, she is also seen adorning a silver heart necklace and high heels with pink, glittery hearts. I truly admired the effort and thought the designers put into these costumes. Since the pink costumes are key in the movie, they must be in the musical as well, as the fun colors and fashion will attract an audience and make them fall in love with the characters. The costumes helped to easily turn Elle Woods into a chic, but pre-professional lawyer.
In “Legally Blonde”, there are many different locations featured such as Harvard Law School, Elle’s sorority house, a courtroom and restaurants, some of which should be shown in the musical. Each one had a certain mood and really set the scene. The Harvard scenes were very authentic, despite not being filmed on site. The gleaming wood of the tables and the old-fashioned look of the chalkboard instantly pulled me into the scene. The restaurant where Warner breaks up with Elle reflects a calm, but romantic atmosphere. The dim lighting and the gentleness of the soft jazz in the background were amazing additions. The tiny round table where Elle and Warner sat and sipped champagne also added to the romance of the scene by creating a sort of intimacy with just a small table in between the two. This scene is the start of Elle Woods’ journey, as this one event is the thing that motivates her to chase Warner, but eventually become a lawyer. The musical writers have modified this scene so Elle and Warner sing together and create a dramatic moment between the couple which audiences love to see.
I cannot go without saying that the character of Elle Woods is portrayed perfectly in this film. The confidence, emotion and sassy style of Elle is apparent. In several scenes, Witherspoon speaks with a sassy, sarcastic tone. The actress also seemed to have this natural glow and radiance that is perfect for her character. I loved how the acting showed the development of Elle throughout the movie as she transitions from a girly diva with a degree in fashion merchandising, to a serious, but happy, and still fashionable lawyer. I admire the confident sound of her voice when she states, “I don’t need backups. I’m going to Harvard.” The supporting characters such as the professors are also well cast. I think it will be quite interesting to see who is cast for these parts in West’s production and how others will interpret them.
With every gasp, dramatic gesture and sashay, the character of Elle Woods was brought to life in this movie. Although the movie could be cheesy and cliche at times, it just added to the hilarity of the plot. I was genuinely entertained while watching this film, and it is PG-13 making it available to a variety of people. The performances, set and costumes in the movie all truly bring the story of “Legally Blonde” to life. With the creativity and hard work of the Drama Department, this movie will be a wonderful and exciting high school production.