While Reese Witherspoon and America are busy celebrating the 15th anniversary of Legally Blonde, I’ll be marching around noisily fuming at the memory of how hard the “Bend and Snap” sucked.
I want to make it clear that I am being measured, so I’m happy to agree that the movie is good and basically (basically) holds up. But the most glaring weakness that irked me 15 years ago and continues to irk me today is the idea that a dance move—and a totally unsexy dance move at that—could successfully attract a sex partner.
It’s not like the rest of the movie is strictly steeped in reality; still, the gritted-teeth patience required to tolerate the usually comedically flawless Jennifer Coolidge and Witherspoon resting their limp little wrists next to their breasts coupled with the suspension of disbelief required to think that such an odd contortion could really win over hot UPS guy is too much for me. I don’t accept it now and I refuse to in the future.
Stepping back, we are asked to believe that protagonist Elle Woods’ mother taught her the move, the alleged secret to picking up men, in junior high.
“In my experience, it has a 98 percent success rate of getting a man’s attention and, when used appropriately, it has an 83 percent rate of return on a dinner invitation,” says Woods in the movie.
“Wow,” croons Paulette, the dowdy nail technician who will soon come into her sexual own.
Fucking “wow” is right!
I am willing to grant that bending and snapping will attract the attention of everyone except for the blind, since it’s such an unnatural, undesirable, basically uninventable movement. But 83 percent dinner invitation success? Are men so out of their nut that they’ll try to bone a grown woman (or a teenager) behaving like a literal prairie dog? I mean, I guess.
Some other questions: Why is one leg bent and one leg straight? Isn’t it sexier to bend both legs and then slither up? Why does Paulette initially think the way to snap is to put her hands above her head like a Flamenco dancer? Why is every woman in the middle of a perm eager to get up to try bending over? Why does Paulette sit on a counter bouncing around her tits? Why and how does everyone break into a choreographed routine? What is the status of their spa treatments? Remember when it was okay to have such cartoonish gay stereotypes in movies? Were they angling for a future Broadway musical the whole fucking time???
Above all, where was the watchful eye of reality in the writing, acting and directing of this scene?!
Happy birthday, Legally Blonde, but I wish you had never done this.