Legally Blonde (2001)
The Story: Elle Woods (played by Reese, of course) has never had anyone expect more from her than to be a Victoria's Secret model. After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend in favor of a dull, brunette (He needed to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn ;), she decides to get him back by attending Harvard Law along with him. To her, and everyone else's, surprise, she has more legal savvy than many of the hoity toity students at the school. She has her ups, she has her downs, she has her mini Chihuahua named Bruiser, and she's out to prove to everyone that blondes can be more than beautiful.
What I like about it: Firstly, I love Reese Witherspoon. Really love her. I love her bunny costume, I love her attitude, and, let's face it, I love her hair. I admit, this movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. I watch it when I need a little pick-me-up, or when I feel the need to see a dog in a costume. I even own it on VHS....shudder ;) I've always had a thing for Luke Wilson, who plays her eventual love interest, so that's a big plus for me. And I want a little Bruiser dog, really I do.
Vanity Fair (2004)
The Story: Rebecca Sharp's (played by Reese Witherspoon) father was and artist, and her mother a French opera singer. Being orphaned at a young age, she is forced to be a servant in a boarding school until coming of age. Armed with only her wits and obvious beauty, she decides to raise her lot in life as best she can starting a governess in a Squires' home. 'Described by some as 'Not merely a social climber, but a mountaineer', we watch the trials and tribulations of her launch into (and out of ) society.
My take: You know I love a period drama, and this one leaves no costume un-polished. Reese Witherspoon actually sings in this movie. She sings a beautiful rendition of 'Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal' which is certainly worth hearing. This film is directed by Mira Nair. Famous for her ability to capture the mood of a film impeccably, she adds in flavors of India in all the right places. There is even a dance number sung to a tune familiar to me (and most other bellydancers) with an Indian feel. Fleshing out the cast is James Purefoy as Rawdon Crawley, Gabriel Byrne as The Marquess of Steyne, Romola Garai as Amelia Sedley, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the naughty George Osborne