A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this direct-to-DVD production is an attempt to skew the Legally Blonde movie's signature of girly smarts to the younger set, and that the girls are lauded not just for beauty but for brains as well. Students on scholarship at a snooty Beverly Hills private school lie to cover up the facts of their economic situations, though only the nice characters are "poor." Conspicuous consumption is stamped into every frame. Students sneak into a teacher's office, and eventually the teacher covers up for them.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this straight-to-DVD extension of the Legally Blonde franchise, LEGALLY BLONDES tells the story of the twin British cousins of Elle Woods, who are as gorgeous, fashion-obsessed, and smart as their American cousin. Coming with their widowed professor father to live in Beverly Hills, Annabelle (Camilla Rosso) and Isabelle (Rebecca Rosso) Woods attend posh Pacific Academy on partial scholarship and make an immediate impression with their friendly and confident demeanor. But a jealous classmate finds their combination of beauty and brains unsettling and plots to expose their financial situation and get them expelled.
Is it any good?
The movie is lighthearted fun, but a story that spins on conspicuous consumption is a bit hard to swallow given the economic environment. We're told that Annie and Izzy have academic chops, but their obvious delight at shopping on Rodeo Drive and fluency in all topics fashion makes a bigger impression. The shame and subterfuge associated with attending a posh private school on scholarship are referred to again and again, with public school positioned as the ultimate sentence for poor behavior.
The Rosso twins are incredibly beautiful, but their portrayal of these girls as sisters, daughters, and classmates comes across as stiff and a shade too good to be true. Better in her role is the mean girl Tiffany (Brittany Curran), who rips into her lines with gusto and great comic timing. The courtroom scene at the end of the movie, while wholly implausible, provides some twists and turns that may just make up for the lack of warmth and humor from the original Legally Blondes and keep tween viewers tuned in until the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Woods' family motto, that "sisters are built-in best mates." Do you think that's true, and why?
Do you think that a real school would allow students to try something as important as an expulsion case?
Are kids at your school so hyperaware about family economic situations? What point is the movie trying to make about consumerism and "flashy" stuff?
- In theaters: April 28, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: April 28, 2009
- Cast: Brittany Curran, Camilla Rosso, Rebecca Rosso
- Director: Savage Steve Holland
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, High School
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: brief mild language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.