Friday, May 21, 2004

"Legally Blonde"

Since I just finished law school, it seemed like as good a time as any to watch the GenX version of "The Paper Chase," "Legally Blonde." I'd heard mostly good things about it over the past couple of years, but it mostly disappointed.

I could complain about the smaller leaps of logic in the film (e.g. first-year students assisting on a major murder defense), but I'll let those fly. And although I thought Elle's boyfriend was a jerk from the moment he dumped her, I'll let that issue go to. And while the subplot with the manicurist was mostly pointless, it didn't hurt anything.

No, my chief two problems with the film were these. First, Elle's performance on the LSAT. When we see her taking a practice test, she gets a 143. That's a pretty middle-of-the-road score. The next scene has her getting her final score, a 179. One point shy of perfect. That was some miraculous studying inbetween those scenes. And yet that score never gets mentioned again, despite all of the talk of her vapidness.

Second, Elle's performance in the courtroom is, I suppose, to illustrate her unexpected intelligence and grasp of the law. But she hardly said or did anything legal at all. She recognized a hair-care error in the witness's story (I know virtually nothing about hair, and even I saw the problem immediately), and then the witness broke down and gave an on-the-stand confession. And then everyone praises Elle for being a legal genius. If that's all it takes to be a legal icon at Harvard, maybe I should've gone there instead of staying in-state.

The film had its moments, but for legal comedies, I'll stick with "My Cousin Vinny."


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