Today is the twentieth anniversary of the premiere of Legally Blonde. Based on the book of the same name from the same year, the film follows Elle Woods, a seemingly ditzy blonde, as she attends Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend and ends up defying stereotypes to become a lawyer.
The story is based on the real life experiences of Amanda Brown at Stanford Law School. She met a movie producer who helped her develop the story into a novel. At the same time, they began developing it as a movie. The studio approved the movie expecting a "wet T-shirts and boobs" movie rather than the feel-good, women empowerment story it was. The production team did research at Stanford. The movie was shot across several colleges in Southern California, at neither Stanford nor Harvard.
The film received mostly good reviews from critics. While calling the plot formulaic, they praised the actors' performances. It was a sleeper hit at the box office and became the thirty-second highest grossing film of the year. It received a mixed response from the legal community, who cited numerous errors mostly with Elle being able to defend a client while a student. It was nominated for a number of awards, including two Golden Globes, and won several. The success of the film spawned a sequel with another in development, a direct-to-video spin-off, and a stage musical. The film has remained popular, with countless women citing it as inspiration for pursuing a career in law.
The film features the talents of Alanna Ubach as Serena McGuire.