Legally Blonde: Romantic Comedy?

Legally Blonde is a beloved movie about a young woman who is dumped by her boyfriend because he is going to Harvard Law and does not want her to drag him down. Instead of moping, the heroine Elle Woods turns her anger and works hard to get into the same school as him. Once attending Harvard Law, she is rarely taken seriously because of her looks and the way she dresses, but she ends up winning a case using her knowledge of a perm.

This movie is often regarded as a romantic comedy, because Elle ends up falling in love with a recent graduate named Emmett, however, I believe that it should not be classified as a romantic comedy. From the beginning, far greater weight is placed on her platonic relationships like those with her sorority sisters. Throughout the entire movie, her friends seem to be the only ones who do not doubt her. One of her female professors tells her to not give up, and it once again shows women supporting other women, and not her seeking out validation from her ex boyfriend or current love interest.

Elle is an unapologetically hyper feminine character who ends up succeeding in her career based off her knowledge of all things girly. I believe this movie serves to show young girls with big aspirations that their gender presentation should not hold them back or make them deserve any less respect. She remains undefinable and unable to push into stereotypes throughout the whole movie, despite many other characters attempts to, which is why I believe that this movie is a comedy, but not a romantic comedy.