Legally Blonde Movie Poster Image

Legally Blonde

Fun romp has some sexual references and salty language.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though Elle is the epitome of a material girl, and though she applies to Harvard for the sole reason of pursuing a guy, she learns to value herself as an intellectual being, while holding onto her superficial (albeit comedic) roots.

Positive role models

Elle may be materialistic, but she gets good grades and takes a leadership role among her peers. She's also kind to everyone she meets.


Some verbal bullying behavior from Paulette's ex-husband.


Sorority girls are shown in their (chaste) underwear as they get ready for their evenings. References to lap dances, body parts, wet t-shirt contests, and long interludes in the hot tub. Elle's professor makes a pass at her.


Crude language includes "S--t," "t-ts," "ass," "a--hole," "balls," "bastard," "bitch," "boobs," "damn," "dammit," "Goddammit," "hell," "jerk," "piss," "prick," and "slut." 


The list of goodies is long and numerous since Elle and her friends go shopping to reward themselves. Cosmopolitan magazine, Clairol, Opi nail polish, Prada, Porsche, Harvard, Malibu Barbie, Apple products (Elle's ibook is very prominent), Taco Bell, Clinique, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of scenes in which college kids engage in casual drinking: keg parties, blender drinks, etc. Elle's dad always has a martini in hand. Elle shares a beer with Paulette.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Legally Blonde is a 2001 tongue-in-cheek comedy. It has some sexual references and gay stereotyping. There are references to lap dances, body parts, wet t-shirt contests, and long interludes in the hot tub. Elle's professor makes a pass at her. 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's college drinking and some profanity ("s--t," "t-ts," "ass," "a--hole," "balls," "bastard," "bitch,"  etc.)

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.

Luke Wilson as a young lawyer and Holland Taylor as an acerbic professor add some nice moments. And it is fun to see Raquel Welch in a cameo as a wealthy divorcée.

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.

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 13, 2001
DVD/Streaming release date:November 6, 2001
Cast:Luke Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair
Director:Robert Luketic
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some crude humor and language

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Adult Written bybirdvet April 9, 2008

Hated having to explain a lapdance to my daughter

This movie was chosen for a girl scout event (ages 12-15), based on the review from CSM. Weeks afterward, my husband and I watched the movie on TV, and were quite upset at the strong sexual references, including lapdances, and a woman who claims she married her rich husband for the size of his "dick". I really feel that CSM should have been more forthcoming with the sexual content..... these are phrases that I would rather my daughter not have to deal with for several years to come.
Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008


Corny? Yes. Guilty Pleasure? Definitely. Really really fun? HECK YES! 'Legally Blonde' is a really fun, entertaining, and frequently hilarious film--if you don't mind some cheesiness then it's a great time at the movies. Oh--and this is another one CSM is totally wrong on. It says Pause, no. I saw this movie when it came out in theaters, I was probably about 9 years old, and it was perfectly appropriate back then. It's totally appropriate for kids to watch, just some mostly mild cussing and mild sexual references.
Teen, 14 years old Written byjazzyjammrz April 9, 2008

love this movie!

Reese Witherspoon always does good movies. There is very little language issues and no violence at all. This is a really fun chick flick! anyone 10+ can watch without caution; under that, parents preview first.