What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this tongue-in-cheek comedy plays up the glories of material riches. Elle's sorority life in California is all about mani-pedis, Prada shoes, and snagging the right guy. She may decide to go to Harvard for the wrong reasons -- following a guy -- but she learns to value her brains in the end -- even if she continues to celebrate her successes with a shopping spree. There are some sexual references and gay stereotyping, and college drinking and some foul language are prevalent.
What's the story?
Adorable Southern California sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is about to graduate with a major in fashion marketing. Her life seems perfect. Her biggest challenge is what to wear for what she thinks will be a marriage proposal from her beau, Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis). But he has another idea. He has decided to break up with her before he leaves for Harvard Law School, because she's not they right type to help him in his political career. Elle decides that the only way to get him back is to join him at Harvard. So, she studies hard, aces the LSATs, and, with the help of a very unique videotaped application essay, she is admitted. Her new classmates are skeptical and tease her. Worst of all, Warner is engaged to a girl who looks like an ad for Town and Country magazine. They won't let her study with them and they play a cruel joke on her. But Elle surprises them all -- and even herself -- by becoming a first class law student and a first class lawyer while staying true to herself. She ends up defending a murder suspect with whom she has a special rapport and conducting a cross-examination that would impress Perry Mason.
Is it any good?
This courtroom comedy might not reach the heights of the sublime My Cousin Vinny, but it comes pretty close. Witherspoon is a treasure. She makes Elle completely believable as a delectable California girl with spirit and brains even she did not realize. Witherspoon and the art direction (even the credits have i's dotted with hearts) keep things bubbly even when the script falters into predictability or vulgarity.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why Elle did not have higher aspirations for herself, and the role her parents played in shaping the way she thought about her future.
They might also want to talk about Elle's choice to keep her client's secret, even when it put her defense at risk, and about the mistakes people make when they judge other people based on appearances. What made Elle succeed when more experienced lawyers did not?
What did the way Elle responded to a practical joke show us about her?