Ok, some may think I've got to be joking. But yes, I admire Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 1 Legally Blonde 1 and Legally Blonde 2. I admire her for her attitude, modern savvy, resourcefulness….and just imagine how boring life would be if all people were conservative-navy-pantsuit types! Not our Elle!
Elle operates effectively in a man's world without compromising one bit of her femininity. She's obviously brilliant and capable but it's her femininity that makes her character interesting, lovable and human. It's also her feminine attributes that win the day for her.
What I like most about Elle is that she is not ashamed of her femininity. She is secure as a woman. I guess my gripe is that many women today seem to think they need to become like men in order to be acceptable in the workplace, thus the grey, black or navy pant-suits and the unnatural lowering of the female voice register. Ughh! My singing teacher says women's voices today are lowered on purpose, that it is not natural, but a learned behavior. I ask, what's wrong with being a woman? Why try to act, look and sound like a man? Why not embrace femininity unashamedly even in the work place? Since women have taken to dressing and acting like men I think western society has become so drab. Women, let's add a bit of color and charm to life Elle Woods style!
I admire Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1996) for her pertness, radiance and special brand of cleverness. Emma has almost impeccable social manners and refinement flawed only by a naÃ¯ve type of snobbishness we hope she will out-grow one day. Emma is witty and a clever conversationalist, is probably widely read and obviously well cultured. She demonstrates a determination that 'her way is the right way' and consequently 'falls into ditches' of her own creation. She demonstrates an independence of spirit all the while being very dependent without the self-knowledge. This makes her quite adorable (especially to Mr Knightly).
Despite her human foibles of stubbornness, love of admiration and praise and a tendency to control lesser characters, Emma remains very likable. She is a young character and I like to picture what she could be like as a thirty-something with more life experience on her side. However even with the growing wisdom of years, I hope Emma never attains complete perfection. I like to imagine that she has a life-long struggle with her faults of character. Although these faults provide fodder for her enemies, they keep her life fresh and dramatic making her all the more loveable to her friends, family and husband.
Personally, I don't find Mr Knightly a bore (as long as he is being played by Jeremy Northam). Mr Knightly has a quiet type of masculine charisma and is definitely very alpha male.
Elena de la Vega
I understand The Legend of Zorro received many bad reviews, and yes, I had to close my eyes during most of the fighting scenes! However, here's my view of the character of Elena de la Vega.
It should be kept in mind that Elena depicts a woman acting during a time of crisis. Under normal circumstances I imagine her demure, thoroughly lady-like, the perfect hostess, mother and devoted wife. I also envisage she has a great sense of fun and could be devilishly cheeky at times. But we, the viewers become acquainted with Elena during a period of personal calamity. During this time her very feminine attributes of motherly protectiveness and the human trait of self-preservation come to the forefront.
Of her human foibles, Elena has a venomous tongue under stress, particularly when provoked by her husband whom she loves passionately. However despite her noxious words to Alejandro during her opening scenes, I cannot imagine Elena flying off the handle all the time—I believe it's the big issues that rile her. I doubt she is petty and complaining over small issues like many fine ladies of the north-east. She is a frontier woman.
Although Elena is quite the lady, she's certainly no pushover and when the going gets rough she certainly gets going. Should her child be threatened, or when it comes to standing by her man or the values she cherishes, she becomes a female dynamo. Here Elena demonstrates feminine protectiveness for her family and a strong sense of self-preservation.
Elena has great moral courage and demonstrates a high level of fidelity to her husband through both the good and bad times. I think she possesses an enormous sense of dignity and self-respect which shines through in this film.
On the whole I find Elena de la Vega a thoroughly admirable heroine. Definitely a woman I'd imagine requires a strong alpha male and head of the household at her side (I thought Alejandro was weak, particularly in the latter department).
Is Elena a Taken in Hand type woman? I'd argue the affirmative although I understand this opinion could be controversial. Oh, and the other thing, the critics thought Elena showed too much cleavage. What's so wrong with cleavage? Elena would never be as petty as her critics!