It’s official: Legally Blonde originally had a queer ending
To put it in legal terms, we’ll allow it.
Noughties feminist comedy Legally Blonde (2001) may just be a perfect movie. On top of it being an aggressively stylish, endlessly quotable cinematic classic, the film’s exploration of internalised misogyny, self-empowerment, and the Madonna-whore dichotomy — not to mention its prescient pro-bimbo legacy — really holds up. But as we have now learned, almost 20 years after the film’s initial release, everyone’s favourite Reese Witherspoon outing could have had the perfect ending: an extremely gay one.
With this new intel, Elle Woods’ enduring appeal takes on a whole new level of meaning for us LGBTQ+ girlies. But what exactly could we have had? In a recent New York Times feature, i-D contributor Ilana Kaplan found out for us: in an oral history of the film to celebrate the second decade of its (blessed) existence, she spoke to a mix of screenwriters, actresses, and casting directors in advance of the iconic movie’s July 13 20th anniversary.
Among other revelations, actress Jessica Cauffiel, who had portrayed Margot -- one of Elle’s best friends in the film -- gave us a tidbit that she had been “waiting for somebody to leak” for the whole 20 years. Incredible.
“The first ending was Elle and Vivian in Hawaii in beach chairs, drinking margaritas and holding hands,” she said. “The insinuation was either they were best friends or they had gotten together romantically.” To that we humbly ask: why not both, Jessica? She continued: “The second or third ending was a musical number on the courtroom steps, and as Elle came out, the judge, jury and everybody in the courtroom broke into song and dance.”
Okay, but let’s get back to the gay thing. Later in the piece, screenwriter Karen McCullah provides further illumination on the subject: “We originally cut to a year later, Elle and Vivian were good friends, and Vivian’s now blond. They had started the Blond Legal Defense Club and were handing out fliers in the quad.” So there you go. Legally Blonde enters the gay canon. We love to see it.