Book Vs Movie: “Legally Blonde”
The Amanda Brown Story Vs the Reese Witherspoon Movie
The Margos are donning their pink outfits and getting our nails done in preparation for one of our most fun episodes–Legally Blonde. The original writer is Amanda Brown who based some of the stories about Elle Woods on her experience as a law student at Stanford University. As she said at the time ‘I wrote it all on pink paper with my furry pink pen.” It has an unusual publishing history as it was rejected by every major publishing house but became a bidding war with the movie studios. MGM won the bid and Reese Witherspoon was set to star.
Screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith spent two weeks at Stanford Law School in 2000 to get a flavor of what campus life is like. Reese Witherspoon spent hundreds of dollars on a bar tab for a group of sorority girls to pick up their lingo and a movie was created.
The original story is missing a few things from the beloved film including the character of Emmett Richmond (played by Luke Wilson) and Elle actually working hard to get into law school.
At first, in the age of raunchy films like American Pie being popular with audiences, the movie had an edgier quality. But writers McCullah Lutz & Smith decided to add more romance (and NOT with her law professor,) give her favorite manicurist her own backstory and change the plot of the murder trials.
The film was a massive hit when released and its feminist slant and fashions inspired generations of women to become lawyers. There was a sequel in 2003 and a musical that appeared on both Broadway and the London stage.
So, between the novel and the movie–which did we prefer? Have a listen and find out!
In this ep the Margos discuss:
- The journey of the novel to screenplay
- Biggest changes between book & movie
- The casting process and how the wardrobe is the main factor of the film’s popularity
- The cast: Reese Witherspoon (Elle Woods,) Moonie (Bruiser Woods,) Selma Blair (Vivian,) Luke Wilson (Emmett Richmond,) Matthew Davis (Warner,) Victor Garber (Professor Callahan,) Jennifer Coolidge (Paulette,) Holland Taylor (Professor Stromwell,) Ali Larter (Brooke,) Jessica Cauffiel (Margot,) and Linda Cardellini (Chutney Windham.)
- Elle’s entrance video
- Legally Blonde trailer
- First day of school
- Elle meets Emmett
- Bend and Snap!
- Perfect Day by Hoku
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