[Screen It]


(2001) (Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate None Heavy None *None
Mild None None None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate None Minor Moderate Minor

Comedy: Hoping to win back her reputation-conscious boyfriend who's dumped her because of her golden locks, an otherwise happy go lucky blonde gets accepted into the same law school he's attending and must then deal with others' preconceived notions about her that are based on her looks.
Elle Woods (REESE WITHERSPOON) has led the good life. Not only is she a natural blonde coming from a wealthy family, but she's also an honor student and the president of her sorority, Delta Nu, was homecoming queen at CULA, and has two great friends in sorority sisters Margot (JESSICA CAUFFIEL) and Serena (ALANNA UBACH).

Then there's her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (MATTHEW DAVIS), over whom all of the other girls swoon and wish could be theirs. Elle and her friends believe he's about to propose to her over a fancy dinner, but to her shock he decides to dump her for being too blonde and not serious or smart enough for his political future that's to begin by him attending Harvard Law School.

Desperate to win him back, Elle decides to enroll there as well - despite her degree being in Fashion Merchandising - and manages to study hard enough and use her perkiness and sexuality to be granted admission. Arriving in Massachusetts from California, Elle sticks out like a sore thumb - not only because of her hair but also her bubbly personality and flamboyant attire as well - and tries to act surprised when she bumps into Warner.

She soon finds that her plan will not be as easy as first thought. Her first instructor, Professor Stromwell (HOLLAND TAYLOR), puts her in her place for not being prepared for class and it turns out that Warner is now seeing Vivian Kensington (SELMA BLAIR), another law student he previously dated in prep school who now seems determined to be a constant thorn in Elle's side.

All is not lost, however, as she finds a kindred spirit in local manicurist Paulette (JENNIFER COOLIDGE), and gets helpful advice from Emmett (LUKE WILSON), who's a legal assistant to Professor Callahan (VICTOR GARBER), an instructor who's also a practicing attorney looking for promising students to fill his internship program.

When Warner insults Elle's potential one more time, she decides to prove him wrong and sets out to nab one of those spots. As she and other law school students such as Enid (MERDITH SCOTT LYNN) and David (OZ PERKINS) vie for the internships, Elle eventually finds herself assisting Callahan on a murder case where their client, Brooke Taylor Windham (ALI LARTER), a former Delta Nu, has been charged with shooting her wealthy and much older husband.

As the case begins and involves witnesses such as the deceased's adult daughter, Chutney (LINDA CARDELLINI), her mother, Mrs. Windham Vandermark (RAQUEL WELCH), the deceased's ex-wife, and Enrique (GREG SERANO), the pool boy, Elle sets out to help her sorority sister and prove that blondes can have fun and make something of themselves all at the same time.

Many teens will probably want to see it, especially if they're fans of someone in the cast or liked movies such as "Clueless" and "10 Things I Hate About You."
For language and sexual references.
  • REESE WITHERSPOON plays a perky and bubbly college student who decides to attend law school to get her boyfriend back after he dumps her for being too blonde and not serious enough for his reputation. Although she acts ditzy at times, she's intelligent and ends up proving herself. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • JESSICA CAUFFIEL and ALANNA UBACH play her equally bubbly sorority sisters and best friends.
  • MATTHEW DAVIS plays Elle's boyfriend who dumps her based on her blonde looks and his reputation of being seen with such a woman. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • SELMA BLAIR plays his new girlfriend, a fellow law student who's decided to be mean to Elle, although she eventually changes her ways.
  • VICTOR GARBER plays a law professor and practicing attorney who sees potential in Elle and gives her one of his coveted internship spots, but we eventually learn he did so for sexual reasons.
  • LUKE WILSON plays his assistant who befriends Elle and helps her out.
  • JENNIFER COOLIDGE plays a manicurist who also befriends Elle and uses some profanity, all while trying to get up the nerve to be more open with a deliveryman who's sweet on her.
  • HOLLAND TAYLOR plays another law school professor who's tough on Elle, but has her best intentions in mind.
  • ALI LARTER plays a young and successful businesswoman who's on trial for murdering her husband and has a special reason for not stating her alibi. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • MERDITH SCOTT LYNN plays another student who's a politically active lesbian (although we don't see any related activity).
  • OZ PERKINS plays a somewhat nerdy law school student.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of several uses of the "s" word, along with some slang terms for male genitalia, other expletives and various colorful phrases. Various instances of sexually related dialogue are present, but aren't overly graphic/explicit in nature, while some double entendres are also present as are several homosexual characters.

    A young woman occasionally uses her looks and sexuality to get what she wants (not related to sex), and is occasionally seen in revealing and/or skimpy attire. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while they and others drink in various scenes and a minor bit of violence is present (mostly of the slapstick variety, but we do hear that a person has been murdered by being shot, although that's all played for laughs).

    The rest of the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of other major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home who might want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present in it.

  • Some students hold/have drinks at two parties/events.
  • People have wine with dinner, while Warner and Elle have champagne.
  • Elle's father has a martini, as does a woman with him.
  • We see some students carrying a keg of beer while Elle studies.
  • Students have beer at a law school party, while Vivian and a friend drink wine.
  • Paulette's old boyfriend holds a beer.
  • Elle and Paulette have what may be drinks.
  • Someone comments on someone downing Cosmopolitans.
  • Elle's father has a martini at her graduation.
  • None.
  • An older sales clerk thinks badly of Elle (that she's a dumb blonde with daddy's credit card) and tries to take advantage of her in a clothing store (but Elle puts her in her place).
  • Warner has both types of attitudes for breaking up with Elle based solely on her looks and how others would perceive him if he was still with her. Later, he tells her that she's not smart enough for law school and/or winning a coveted internship.
  • Many students stare and/or make fun of Elle based solely on her looks.
  • Vivian immediately has both types of attitudes toward Elle, but later slowly changes her ways and attitudes toward her (after telling her that a party she'll be attending is of the costume variety when it isn't just to embarrass her).
  • Paulette's old boyfriend is rude and mean to her (until Elle puts him in his place).
  • The person responsible for murdering someone (the act and body are never seen) obviously has both types of attitudes.
  • Callahan always has Vivian getting him food, and later puts the moves on Elle (putting his hand on her leg and stating that he's a man who knows what he wants).
  • Warner says, "who cares" about Brooke and her trial, and that Elle should be looking out for herself and thinking of her future.
  • Two girls are mean and demeaning to a nerdy law school student who asks one of them out.
  • A person lies on the stand about having an affair with Brooke.
  • None.
  • None, although we hear that a gun was used to commit a murder in regards to the court case.
  • Phrases: "No sh*t," "Stop d*cking around," "Fat ass," "Bastard," "Dyke," "Frigid bitch," "What the hell do you want?" "Dumb ass," "Balls" (testicles), "Big fat retards," "Why the hell not?" "Screw" (nonsexual), "You're really being a butt-head," "Tart," "That little bitch," "Dork," "Losers," "Bitch" (what a man calls his boyfriend), "Piece of ass," "You don't know what the hell you're talking about," "Scumbag" and "Bonehead."
  • Various young women wear tight and/or midriff-baring outfits.
  • One of Elle's friends says that another passed her Spanish class only because she gave her professor a lap dance after the exam (not seen). Elle also uses her sexuality at times to get her way (such as appearing in her admissions video essay wearing a skimpy bikini).
  • Elle shows various women how to do the "bend and snap" move to get men interested (where one bends over and then suddenly snaps upright with their clothed chest out).
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 2 "s" words (1 in subtitles), 4 slang terms using male genitals ("d*cking," "p*cker" and "pr*ck"), 1 slang term for sex ("humping"), 4 slang terms for breasts ("boobs" and "t*t"), 10 asses (1 used with "hole"), 7 hells, 10 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Oh God," 2 of "My God" and 1 use of "G-damn" as exclamations.
  • We briefly see some college women in a sorority house bathroom (and thus see them in their bras and panties).
  • Various miscellaneous women show varying amounts of cleavage in the various outfits they wear (including Elle who's also seen in a dress with a high-cut slit and later in a small bikini - along with a friend of hers as both float on pool rafts).
  • After Warner announces he's breaking up with her, Elle wonders if it's because her "boobs" are too big (he replies that they're just fine).
  • One of Elle's sorority sisters says that she's heard of the LSATs, but mistakes them for being something that gives you a bad rash "on your..." (she doesn't complete the thought, but seemingly is talking about the pubic area).
  • One of Elle's friends says that another passed her Spanish class only because she gave her professor a lap dance after the exam (not seen).
  • Paulette says that her last lover followed his "p*cker" to greener pastures and left her for another woman.
  • We see Elle in a Playboy bunny type outfit (with bunny ears & tail along with cleavage and small panties) that she wears to a party (after being told it was of the costume variety).
  • Enid tells Warner that their school is sexist since the word "semester" obviously refers to and/or prefers "semen" rather than ovaries.
  • A case is discussed in class about a sperm donor and one being a one-time donor and another being a chronic one. Elle then makes a comment about sperm emissions, and then one-night stands and whether they resulted in a child or not. She then adds that all masturbatory emissions where a sperm is clearly not seeking an egg could be termed reckless abandonment.
  • To spite Warner in front of Vivian, Elle reminds him of when they spent "four wonderful hours" in the hot tub after the winter formal, and then adds that being picked as an intern is so much better than that.
  • When questions are asked about why Brooke was married to her husband, she states "show them a picture of his d*ck, that might clear a few things up."
  • A hunky UPS deliveryman tells Paulette that he's "got a package," causing her and Elle to smile. Later, he comes in and tells her, "I've got a big one for you."
  • As Paulette dances around the beauty parlor, she briefly adjusts her clothed breasts.
  • Brooke's late husband's ex-wife states that Brooke and that man did "hump" like gorillas.
  • After two girls are mean and demeaning to a nerdy law school student who asks one of them out, Elle walks up to him and acts like she was with him the night before and that she's upset that he didn't call her. She then adds that they spent the night together and that he gave her the greatest pleasure she's ever known and then taken it away. When she walks away, the other girls are suddenly interested in the young man.
  • During a court case, we see a small thong-like bottom that Brooke supposedly wanted her young pool boy to wear and he answers that he was having an affair with her after a lawyer defines that as having sexual relations. Elle then states that a Delta Nu would never sleep with a man in a thong. Emmett later cross examines this man and proves that he's gay by having him slip and give out the name of his boyfriend (who then storms out of the courtroom after the pool boy says that he's just a friend).
  • When Vanessa mistakenly thinks that Elle is sleeping with Callahan to get ahead, she tells her that maybe she should sleep with the jury to win their case.
  • Elle complains that when people view her all they see is blond hair and big boobs and adds that Callahan only saw her as a "piece of ass."
  • None.
  • We learn that Brooke's older husband has been murdered, but she doesn't show much grief about that.
  • Not judging a person solely by their looks (what many do in regards to Elle).
  • Stereotypical notions about those with blond hair.
  • Enid is a lesbian and a pool boy and his friend are noted as being gay, but we don't see any related activity.
  • Law school and how it's not quite as easy and/or fun as displayed here.
  • Professor Stromwell hits another student on the top of his head with a pencil during a class while making a point.
  • Vivian kicks Warner under the table for thinking of letting Elle join their study group.
  • Slapstick material has one of Elle's friends apparently stepping down on a wedding dress she's trying on and then falling hard to the floor.
  • After Elle shows her how to do the bend and snap move to get men interested (where one bends over and then suddenly snaps upright with their chest out), Paulette does that, but doesn't realize that the man she's interested in has bent over as well. Accordingly, when she suddenly rights herself, she accidentally hits him rather hard in the face, knocking him to the floor and apparently breaking his nose.
  • We learn that Brooke's older husband has been murdered, but don't see the act or the body.

  • Reviewed July 9, 2001 / Posted July 13. 2001

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