Legally Blonde (2001) Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Britney Spears move over. Blonde bombshells have a new icon to follow this summer. She’s perky, petite and Legally Blonde.
Sorority president Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is an affluent California-campus flavor-of-the-month Homecoming Queen whose Harvard-bound boyfriend (Matthew Davis) dumps her. His political ambitions and traditional New England family call for “a Jackie, and not a Marilyn” in his promising future. But the faux fur fashion girl isn’t about to be loved and left. Ignoring the stuffy conventions of the Ivy League university, she sends a video taped application featuring her own unique bikini clad assets to the university’s entrance board and wins a spot at the prestigious law school. That’s when she finds out there’s more to legal studies than showing up at class. Harassed by school professors (Holland Taylor, Victor Garber) and scorned by the conservative cardigan and pearl type, Elle battles for recognition, acceptance, and lost love in Boston’s cool academic climate.
Contrary to the hair color myth, Witherspoon’s character proves surprisingly spunky and warm despite the ditzy head tilting, high-pitched squealing and fluffy pink apparel—although we’re not talking rocket science here. Elle’s savvy extends beyond hair care when she befriends Pauline (Jennifer Coolidge)—her romantically challenged manicurist, to whom she offers (along with other salon regulars) some pointed tips on attracting the attention of the opposite sex. In another likeable move, she takes action to raise the desirability quotient of an awkward classmate (Oz Perkins), and becomes one of the student lawyers chosen to help in a murder case involving a former sorority sister.
But all of Elle’s good deeds are lost in the haze of blatant sexuality. While the skimpy, skintight t-shirts and bikini wardrobe of the sorority girls are left behind when the story moves to the east coast, the rest of the script, regardless of location, exposes the audience to a barrage of profanities, sexual discussion about adult body parts, and some dirty dealings in the legal backrooms.
Prepared for 90 minutes of dumb blonde jokes, I was surprised by Legally Blonde’s more serious—albeit simplistic—examination of the folly of making assumptions based on face value (or hair color). Yet for all its poof and coif, parents may find the film’s sexual content too hair-raising to recommend it for family viewing.Starring Reese Witherspoon, Mathew Davis. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release July 13, 2001. Updated July 17, 2017
Legally Blonde (2001)
Rating & Content Info
Why is Legally Blonde (2001) rated PG-13? Legally Blonde (2001) is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language and sexual references
While Elle Woods does her best to dispel the blonde stereotype, the sexual content and language make Legally Blonde a family viewing felony.
Scenes include discussion of a murder, girl slaps boy on face, woman accidentally injures man, girl lies during trial.
Sexual Content: C
Kissing couple seen in college dorm hallway, girls in bathroom shown in their underwear, unmarried couple kisses on date, girls shown in tight and low cut t-shirts with bare midriffs, slang terms used to refer to male and female genitals on numerous occasions, comment made about lap-dancing, girls shown in bikinis, girls shown in low-cut, body hugging gowns, reference made to faux fur panties, men stare at young woman and make mild comments on several occasions, comment made about man and his sexual prowess, women demonstrate a move meant to attract men, homosexual character discusses sexual relations with his boss, older man makes sexual suggestions and advances on young woman, brief argument shown between homosexual couple.
At least: 17 mild profanities, 8 moderate profanities, 15 terms of Deity used as expletives, 10 sexual slang terms and one extreme expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B-
Couple drinks wine at dinner, father shown holding glass with alcoholic beverage on at least two occasions, characters shown bringing large amounts of alcohol to party, characters drink at college party, man shown with beer can, friends have drink together.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Legally Blonde (2001) Parents' Guide
Talk about the movie with your family…
Elle Woods is out to challenge the blonde stereotype. Although she is anything but conservative, how does she show her commendable qualities of compassion and personal integrity in this story? What did law school teach her about personal ethics? What does her choice of computer have to say about her individuality?
People are not always what they initially appear to be. Who, besides Elle, proved to be different than first assumed?