Reese Witherspoon playing the role of an ambitious blonde is probably something that gives you PTSD flashbacks if you have watched her amazing performance as Tracy Flick in Election. Her role in that movie was so iconic that it would have been easy to get stuck in the mold. However, known for her ability to break the mold, Reese has found another strong female character who makes us fall in love with her, despite her ambition.
We are talking about Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Elle, much like Tracy is a smart character, who is a born leader and knows how to get things done. However, unlike Tracy, she is actually a kind hearted person, who values her morals and sense of righteousness more than her ambition. She is willing to do whatever it takes to reach her goals, but only as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
Some would say that this makes her a weak person, but her resolve is so strong, that her struggles only make her journey that much more endearing.
Her struggle comes in the form of a heartless boyfriend, who casually discards her for being a sorority girl without real ambition. In her efforts to prove him wrong, she uncovers the same attitude entrenched in the minds of the entire elite academic society. While most people would bow down to such a discrimination on an institutional scale, she decided to rise up against the challenge and prove her worth to the world, with style.
As she goes through this journey, we begin to see different parts of her personality; her smarts, her strength, her drive, her sense of fairness among others. This is what helps us fall in love with this girl. It also makes us fall in love with Reese as well, who is a master at portraying such multifaceted characters with such a grounded approach. There isn’t a moment in this movie where you don’t believe that pink is her favorite color, or that she can make anything happen as long as she has enough scented stationary.
But what makes this character better than anything we’ve seen before, is the fact that she doesn’t lose her sense of wonder and optimism, no matter what life throws at her. While most of us are ready to change ourselves at a drop of a hat, she is someone who stays the same, whether she is at her sorority house, or in a courtroom.This shows that her cheerful personality is not a symptom of her ignorance, rather a sign of a truly kindred spirit.
Some people would argue that giving so much importance to a movie character isn’t a healthy thing. But I believe, that in a world where women face all sorts of discrimination on a daily basis, it is important to have such a well rounded character, who can give them hope that anything is possible. Reese has always been known to play roles like this, and we will always be grateful to her for them.