When We Apologize for a Thing We Love

3/09/2015 02:30:00 PM Lexie Dunne 1 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about movies lately, possibly because I haven’t made it out to the theater in awhile. I’m an avid movie watcher, especially in the theater. I just like the experience: movie popcorn is a no-go for me now, but I can still get my giant, overpriced White Cherry Icee, and I can still sit in the dark room and let the previews build up the anticipation. And everything is bright and crisp because the local theater always has the newest technology, and it’s glorious.

Of course, if you ask me my favorite movie, there’s a strong chance I lied about it in the past.

Because my favorite movie is Legally Blonde and it has been since I saw it with my theater friends in 2001 while I was working on a stage production of The Wizard of Oz.*

I love that movie. LOVE IT. The dialogue is snappy, Reese Witherspoon is firing on all pistons as Elle Woods, it makes the appropriate amount of fun of itself while also being the story of a woman who constantly has to prove herself to others, and discovers that she’s been a badass all along. It calls into question society’s views about femininity while also pointing out—and this is something that a lot of people forget when they talk about ‘strong female characters’**—that a woman can be feminine and know about makeup and other things we tend to put down. She doesn’t have to be physically strong to be an amazing, dynamic character with a great arc.

If I adore this film so much, why did I lie? Well, I didn’t always have as much confidence as I do now. And I’d just sort of nod my head and agree without really defending my choices. It’s a dumb movie, so many people told me. A rom-com (said with a sneer), about a dumb blonde woman (imagine an eyeroll here). Like GOD, that’s the worst thing a movie can be about: a (gasp) WOMAN. “Sure, it’s a little dumb,” I’d say, like I needed to excuse myself for anything. “But I like it. It’s funny.”

And there’s also the bit where I was a video production major. Here’s a thing about being in that program: if you don’t say your favorite movie is something pretentious and probably 98% male, you get side-eyed incredibly hard. And they like to talk about the classics, which never interested me—again: 98% male and I was tiiiiiiiiired of not seeing anybody like me on the screen. To combat the possibility of looking like an idiot, I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia pages of movies I’d never seen. I can hold an in-depth conversation about the themes in Rocky.

I have never even seen Rocky.

(And at this rate, I’m never going to see Rocky. It might just be the hill I die on.)

To all of you who are sneering at my love for the great blondeness that is Elle Woods: it gets worse! My anthem for whenever something amazing happens, like I get that internship in Telluride or Harper Collins is going to publish my first book? IS FROM LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL. That's right! So Much Better. And you can bet your ass I belt that sucker when I’m alone in my car. And you know what?

I don’t have a damn thing that I need to defend about any of it. Because my favorite movie is Legally Blonde*** and I love it.

Shame they never made a sequel, though.

Stay sexy!

* It was great. All the techies were flying monkeys, so I spent Somewhere Over the Rainbow crouching behind a piece of scenery with my friend Casey. We both wore masks you’d commonly see on bank robbers. To this day, Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one song I can constantly sing on-key.

** Take a drink.

*** I need to point out, however, that as much as it’s nice to love things, loving them and glossing over their flaws is an extremely problematic attitude to have. Like, Legally Blonde could use a hell lot more diversity and the harmful stereotypes are a problem.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another example in How We Are The Same: White Cherry Icees forever.

    I still can't stand Reese Witherspoon's chin, though.


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