[MOVIE REVIEW]In This Trial, Justice Is Blonde

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[MOVIE REVIEW]In This Trial, Justice Is Blonde

Nobody's perfect, except Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), the heroine in "Legally Blonde." Elle has everything - she's from Beverly Hills, has blonde hair, blue eyes, a boyfriend (Matthew Davis) at Harvard Law School, and is the queen of her sorority. This may bring to mind the girl of every man's dreams and every woman's enmities. But in fact Elle is showered with affection by her faithful girlfriends. Any movie buff with an ounce of dignity might give this film a peremptory pass, but lower the brows a tad and "Legally Blonde," to be released Friday in Korea, is pleasant and fun.

Elle, a student at a fashion design college, has money to burn and is faithful to luxury goods like Prada, especially in pink hues. Offsetting such material pursuits, though, is her readiness to sympathize with the problems of others, which is why she is so popular with everyone. Life has been always easy for her - with nary a taste of failure - until her boyfriend dumps her, telling her that she's "too blonde." Elle, who had been expecting a proposal, cries her share of mascara-blackened tears before plotting to beat him at his own game by entering Harvard Law School.

Her sun-mellowed California parents object, saying Harvard Law School is for the boring, ugly and serious. But she manages to get admitted after submitting a video essay, which she had Francis Ford Coppola direct, that features her in a swimsuit. Once in the hallowed halls, though, she has trouble adjusting to both the study load and her fellow students. What's worse, her ex-boyfriend has already become engaged to his high school sweetheart, who seems especially adept at alternately ignoring and bullying Elle. Guess what comes next. Elle goes through a dramatic metamorphosis, emerging as a teacher's pet and a bookworm (though she's still clad in pink). Granted, all plausibility starts to crack with Elle's sudden identity switch. But patient suspenders of disbelief will be rewarded with a heartwarming scene in which Elle exacts sweet revenge on her erstwhile beau. After starting an internship at a law firm, she wins a case by using wisdom culled from the girl's Bible, i.e. Cosmopolitan magazine.

A male chauvinist could feel threatened by this movie, and feminists may carp about why Elle really had to change her identity. But overall, the movie's lesson for young women is not entirely objectionable: Don't be a lawyer's wife; be a lawyer.



by Chun Su-jin

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