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Legally Blonde (2001)

By Andrea Pilar Nevil · August 10, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Comedy

Movie Time: 96 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), the perfect blonde sorority president, is hoping that her long-time boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis) will propose. She is shocked, however, when he proposes they break up since “he plans on running for office someday” and he should be with someone more “serious.” (00:07:38)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Elle is devastated by the breakup but decides she’s going to prove to Warner that she’s serious by also attending Harvard Law School. She studies vigorously, sacrificing her old lifestyle and is accepted. She arrives at Harvard in a convertible, dressed in pink, Chihuahua in tow and has a less than warm reception. (00:20:51)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

Elle is kicked out of class, mocked by the others and deals with the humiliation of Warner’s new engagement to Vivian (Selma Blair). She decides to prove herself in order to be taken seriously and rises to the top of her class, which lands her a coveted position as an intern for her Professor Callahan (Victor Garber). (00:50:30)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After proving her instincts about Enrique the pool boy (Greg Serano) were correct; Elle gets called into Callahan’s office to discuss her future. Much to Elle’s surprise and disappointment, Callahan hits on her implying that her career wouldn’t flourish if she didn’t “put out.” Crushed by this humiliation, Elle leaves the internship and quits Law School despite Emmett’s (Luke Wilson) protestations. (01:14:55)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Elle doesn’t accept defeat and returns as Brooke Windham’s (Ali Larter) attorney. She wins the case and at the peak of her success, Warner begs Elle to take him back. Elle refuses, calling him “a complete bonehead” and regains her pride and dignity. (01:28:11)