Analysis of legally blonde

Summary Legally Blonde is a movie about Elle Woods, a sorority queen who receives a breakup card from her boyfriend and enrolls in Harvard Law School to win him back. Despite facing many challenges and being underestimated because of her appearance, she impresses her professors and gets an internship at a law firm, where she helps defend a wealthy woman accused of murdering her husband. Along the way, Elle learns important life lessons and finds love in unexpected places.

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Elle Woods Elle Woods starts as a stereotypical bubble-headed sorority girl, but when she realizes her love interest isn't who he seems, she decides to attend Harvard Law School to show him and everyone else that she is more than what people expect of her. Despite initial setbacks and prejudices, Elle becomes a confident, ambitious, and determined law student with strong morals and a desire to help those in need. By the end of the movie, she proves Brooke's innocence and earns the respect of her classmates, teachers, and even her ex-boyfriend who apologizes for underestimating her. The character arc of Elle Woods relies heavily on the 'revenge fantasy' trope, where a character proves their worth and makes their critics eat their words. While it's empowering to watch Elle stand up for herself and succeed, her character development is mostly driven by her relationship with Warner and her desire to become what she thinks he wants her to be. Additionally, the movie tends to reinforce gender stereotypes rather than subvert them, as Elle's intelligence is often undermined by her appearance and her knowledge of fashion is seen as a hindrance to her legal education.
To improve Elle's character arc, the movie could have focused more on her own motivations and aspirations, rather than her desire to please others. Elle could have been shown as a self-starter who discovers her own passion for law and takes charge of her life, rather than only doing so to impress Warner. Additionally, the movie could have been more critical of the sexist attitudes and double standards that Elle faces in her journey, instead of using them as fodder for comedic relief. Finally, Elle could have been portrayed as someone who challenges both traditional femininity and macho masculinity, showing that being smart and ambitious doesn't mean sacrificing one's personality or interests.
Serena At the beginning of the movie Serena is a confident and loyal friend to Elle, supportive of all her decisions. She becomes skeptical of Elle's plan to win back Warner, but is eventually convinced and becomes a supportive part of Elle's team. Serena encourages Elle to have fun and take a break, and in the end, she is excited about her job as a Laker Girl but also shows concern for her friend's well-being. Serena's character arc is predictable and doesn't offer anything particularly interesting. Her change of heart is abrupt and feels forced, making it hard to believe. The audience doesn't learn much about Serena's internal motivations, making her feel like a one-dimensional character.
To improve Serena's arc, it would be helpful to add more depth to her character. Perhaps we could learn more about her past struggles or see her interact with characters other than Elle. Her change of heart could be less abrupt if it were better motivated, perhaps foreshadowed earlier in the movie. This would make her character more engaging and give the audience a reason to root for her.
Elle Elle starts off as a naive and bubbly sorority girl who doesn't fully understand the complexities of life and love. However, after a heartbreak, she becomes determined to win back her ex-boyfriend by proving herself worthy through law school. Through her journey in law school, she faces challenges, struggles with self-doubt and rejection, but finally grows into a confident, quick-witted, and resilient lawyer who values justice and loyalty to her clients and friends. While Elle's character arc is well-structured, it relies heavily on her love for Warner and her need to prove herself to him. Her journey would have been more empowering if she had discovered her passion for law and love for herself rather than using it as a means to gain validation from her ex-boyfriend.
To improve Elle's character arc, the story could have focused more on her discovering her passion for law and learning to value herself independent of a relationship with Warner. This would have made her journey more empowering and inspiring to viewers, especially young women.
Warner At the beginning of the movie, Warner is a driven young man who is more focused on his ambitions than anything else. He believes he needs to be with someone of the same social class to achieve his goals. He quickly becomes a confused and disoriented ex-boyfriend with lingering feelings for Elle, but remains self-centered and uninterested in her. Throughout the movie, he remains condescending and belittling towards Elle, especially when it comes to her pursuing law. However, by the end of the movie, he realizes his true feelings for Elle and tries to win her back. Though he ultimately fails and is rejected, he shows a willingness to grow and change as a person. While Warner does experience some growth in the movie, it feels rushed and a bit forced. His attempts to win Elle back at the end come across as desperate and insincere, especially considering how poorly he treated her throughout the rest of the movie.
To improve Warner's character arc, the movie could have given him more opportunities to show genuine regret for how he treated Elle and a greater willingness to change. Additionally, his attempts to win her back should have felt more organic and less like a last-ditch effort to salvage his ego.
Emmett Emmett starts off as a serious and cynical law student who underestimates Elle's potential, but gradually becomes more open-minded and supportive of her throughout the trial and their relationship. He sees past her exterior and begins to believe in her abilities, eventually asking her out on a date and becoming a romantic and supportive partner. The character arc for Emmett is well-crafted and provides a satisfying development for his character. However, the progression of his feelings for Elle could be further explored and developed to make their relationship feel more natural and realistic.
To improve the character arc for Emmett, it may be helpful to include more scenes that showcase his growing admiration and respect for Elle, as well as moments of vulnerability that illustrate his softer side. This would help to create more depth and complexity in their relationship, and make the resolution of their arc feel more authentic and earned.
Sarah Sarah starts off as a snobby, condescending rival to Elle, but gradually becomes a more realistic, supportive friend. She apologizes for past behavior and reveals her own struggles with insecurity and jealousy. By the end of the movie, Sarah has grown emotionally and become a better person overall. The character arc for Sarah feels a bit rushed and not fully developed. Her change of heart towards Elle seems abrupt, and we don't get to see enough of her struggles and inner conflict. Additionally, her engagement ring subplot feels underdeveloped and disconnected from the rest of the story.
To improve the character arc for Sarah, the movie could spend more time exploring her motivations and internal struggles. Perhaps we could see more flashbacks of her past interactions with Elle to better understand why she acted the way she did. The engagement ring subplot could also be better integrated into the main story by tying it to Sarah's insecurities and jealousy. Overall, the movie could benefit from more fully fleshing out Sarah's character and giving her a more satisfying arc.
Donovan Donovan starts off as a confident, experienced, and slightly condescending lawyer. He is cunning and aggressive in his approach to winning cases. However, as he faces off against Elle, he becomes determined and clever, demanding and authoritative. He initially dismisses Elle as a ditzy blonde but comes to respect her legal skills after she wins over the jury. Donovan ultimately realizes the flaws in the cold, hard logic of the legal system and becomes a better lawyer for it. While Donovan's character arc is well-executed, it is somewhat predictable. As a foil for Elle, he embodies the traditional, old-school approach to law and justice, which is ultimately challenged and reformed by Elle's new perspective. Donovan's transition from a manipulative, predatory boss to a more humane and understanding lawyer could also be more nuanced.
One way to improve Donovan's character arc would be to explore his inner conflicts more deeply. What motivates him to be such an aggressive, win-at-all-costs lawyer? Is he hiding insecurities or past traumas? Additionally, Donovan's shift from adversary to ally could be more complex. Instead of simply respecting Elle's skills, perhaps Donovan could see the value in her compassionate approach and begin to question his own tactics. This would add more depth to his character and make his arc more interesting to watch.