Reese Witherspoon launched herself onto the Hollwood A-List with the surprise smash hit success of this bubblegum pink comedy.
Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a graduating college student whose life orbits around fashion (usually pink), hair (always blonde) and her WASPish, Harvard Law-bound boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis - Tigerland, Blue Crush).
But when the politically ambitious Warner dumps Elle because he needs "a Jackie, not a Marilyn", Elle becomes determined to get into Harvard Law School herself, if only out of spite.
After being accepted into the hallowed institution thanks to some unique application methods, Elle repeatedly clashes with the faculty and the student body thanks to her garish ways. But the girl perseveres, and even gets a new love interest in the form of likable Emmet (Luke Wilson), which helps her deal with the fact that Warner is now engaged to the snobbish Vivian - a "Jackie" all the way.
Legally Blonde offers solid culture clash comedy, albeit with a post-Pamela Anderson spin. The film relies ably on the considerable charm of Witherspoon, and she delivers a star-making performance of the highest order.
Throughout the late 90s, former child actress Witherspoon had garnered herself a healthy little career with lead roles in films such as Cruel Intentions and Election. But with the one-two punch of Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, the diminutive actress established herself as one of Hollywood's top leading ladies, and the inevitable "Next Julia Roberts" cries followed.
Legally Blonde features a great supporting performance from Jennifer Coolidge, who fast becoming one of the most recognised blondes in cinema.