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Legally Blonde – an oldie but a goodie…

MV5BNTEyNjUwMTkxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjk0NDk0NA@@._V1_SX214_Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis

Ellie is expecting her boyfriend, Warner, to ask her to marry him. But she’s too ‘blonde’ for him, his family, and his intended career. He tells her that he needs some-one serious. So Elle decides to get serious, go to Harvard, and study law like him.

The east coast doesn’t know what hit it when perky, west coast, fashion major, Elle arrives. She’s full of colour, blitz, and naivety when she enters the ‘dog eat dog’ world of law. But Elle uses her own set of smarts to win her a place in a law firm, defend a murder suspect, and win her man.

I do remember watching Legally Blonde when it first came out in 2001. And I remember being surprised that I could enjoy a film where women are portrayed in such extremes – blonde, stupid, and sexually desirable; or non-blonde, smart and good to marry.

But it is a light and frivolous film, nevertheless, that tries a little bit to turn the stereotypes on their head (but let’s not kid ourselves, it didn’t really do that, just lightened the mood a bit).

At the start of the 21st Century, romantic comedy films often sported a lead female who was beautiful, successful, but ditzy. Katherine Heigl played a few of these roles – her character had a flaw like being clumsy, messy, or slightly neurotic. A flaw that may mean: a) she needs to be rescued; or b) she is less ‘perfect’ so not a threat to her potential mate. These flaws can knock a woman down a peg or two.

But rom coms moved away from this type of character after about 2007. Female leads started to have other problems, but weren’t dumb or ditzy anymore. This was a role for the support female – the best friend, the sister, the workmate, or the housemate.

Legally BlondeĀ is full of potential theorising and deconstruction. But if left alone, it’s a bit of fun, colourfully acted, and worth another watch, perhaps this time with the kids!

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The Family Stone

Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Caire Danes, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson

The very tightly-knit and overtly liberal Stone family gets together every Christmas. This year, the eldest son, Everett, brings home his extremely uptight and conservative girlfriend, Meredith (SJP). She never really stood a chance. Feeling like a fish out of water with the extended family, she asks her sister to join her for moral support (Danes). The two sisters try to fit in to the holiday activities, but there are all sorts of underlying currents at play. There are emotional upheavals all over the place, and Everett’s plans to ask Meredith to marry him go completely awry.

I very much like this film because it doesn’t try and do too much. There was probably just a couple of characters too many to get to grips with, but on the whole, you knew what was going on. I also like the way Keaton holds court and everyone revolves around her as the centre of the family – the matriarch. It was teary, but there was also a very romantic ending.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

MV5BMTc4OTA4OTYyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzU4NDQzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson

Matt Saunders (Wilson) needs to find a girlfriend – one that isn’t his workmate, Hannah, who he would love to date, but who is seeing some-one else. He meets Jenny Johnson (Thurman) and despite her slight awkwardness, they start a relationship. It gets exciting when Matt discovers that Jenny is actually superhero, G-Girl. But even G-Girl can be needy, jealous and demanding. When he tries to break it off with Jenny, Matt finds out how dangerous dating a superhero can be. Time to call on the services of G-Girl’s arch nemesis (and former high school boyfriend), Professor Bedlam.

This is a light rom com from 2006. The comedy isn’t too clever, and the jokes are a bit tired, but some of the action helps it along. It’s not a bad film, but it could have been a lot better. There was a solid storyline, one that doesn’t fit in to one of the typical rom com themes, but nothing amazing to make it stand out. Not worth watching twice.