But the musical's flights of fancy more frequently pay off. The transformation of the sorority girls into a Greek chorus whose role it is to guide Elle on her quest for love and legal prowess, and director Jerry Mitchell's staging of Elle's application "essay" (done in video format in the film) as a full-on production number with the central character parading around in a dazzling, hand-beaded majorette costume, make bold, dramatic sense. With its flamboyance and intelligent humor, the musical might actually do more for the reputation of blondes not to mention the color pink than the movie: In Mitchell's larger-than-life world, dressing a pet Chihuahua in a pink onesie and acing the LSATs actually seems plausible.
In reality, though, girl power still has a long way to go. Roughly half of the current student body at Harvard Law School might be women, but a recent study by the DRI-the Voice of the Defense Bar, the nation's largest defense bar association, reports that female attorneys still face discrimination in the courtroom and typically earn 25 percent less than their male counterparts. And, judging by the amount of hype surrounding the death, last week, of Anna Nicole Smith, our culture seems reluctant to let go of its fascination with dumb blondes. If only the stereotype could meet a similarly early grave. Wearing pink to a performance of Legally Blonde may not change the world, but it's a small symbol of solidarity. And those magenta Manolo Blahniks just look so cute.