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July 16, 2001 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-07-16

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 16, 2001

'Blonde' smarter than you think

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By Wilhelmina Mauritz
Daily Arts Writer
Blondes 101: A refresher course. Everyone knows that
blondes are more attractive and always have more fun.
"Legally Blonde" deals with this stereotype and a few oth-
ers having to do with the old-school
snobbery set in no better place than
Harvard Law School. This film is not
Legally entirely free from one last stereotype
Blonde having to do with a teen genre plot as
a romantic comedy.
Grade: A- "Legally Blonde" follows Elle
At Quality 16 and Woods (Reese Witherspoon), a rich
Showcase valley girl from California who wants
nothing more in life than to marry her
college sweetheart. The movie starts
on the night of their "supposed"
engagement. Instead of a proposal,
Elle is dumped! She's not the type of
girl her boyfriend could ever marry. She's not smart
Elle is heartbroken, but in the midst of her moping she
comes up with a plan to get her man back. She will go to
law school to show her boyfriend that she can be the
"right" woman for him. With hard work along with a bit of
luck, Elle makes her way into Harvard Law School and
begins her journey. The departure from your average teen
genre plot with a romantic comedy starts here. The film is
about Elle's discovery of herself, not how she gets her man.
The humor is non-stop. All stereotypes take a beating. It is
indeed fun and a feel-good show.
Witherspoon is great as Elle. She plays the role perfectly,
encompassing the true blonde stereotype while squashing
all the rumors. Her facial expressions alone are enough to
make the whole movie worthwhile.
J. Rawls' newest

The film begins with all the Harvard haughtiness p
ed before us with our heroine being the only real "chara
ter." In the end, the only ones left standing are tho
capable of being touched by her goodness.
There is a great scene at the start of the movie whe
Elle is dress shopping. The store clerk mentions how s
"loves a dumb blond with daddy's credit card." She tries
sell Elle a sales item for fusll price claiming it is brand ne
Elle asks a couple questions about the fabric of the itei
and proves to the clerk that she not only knows more ab
these clothing items than the woman herself, but that sh
in no way a dumb blonde.
This small yet important scene shows the audience th
Elle isn't stupid at all. She may wear wild clothing and ta
like she has a lower level IQ, but there's a lot more goi
on in that mind of hers all the time. The best part is,
matter what happens or how stupid people think she is, El
never really loses faith in herself. She knows she's a go
person and even better, she knows she can do just abo
anything if she puts her mind to it.
Not dissimilar to other movies of this kind, "Legal
Blonde" does have a few scenes that are a bit predictab
with many characters that are black and white. There 4
few good guys on one side and plenty of really bad guys
the other. Life doesn't usually work like this, nor should i
seeing it in a movie sometimes feels unnatural and a b
boring. However, commonplace as these elements may
to their genre, "Legally Blonde" does a better job th
most at playing out its story line.
Most people going into "Legally Blonde" will expect
laugh a lot and to have a good time; those people will con
away from the film happy. The few that go into it expectin
more than a dumb blonde on screen for two hours will
sibly have a pleasant surprise. "Legally Blonde" isn't ab
stupidity or dumb luck; it's about sincerity and about goo
guys not finishing last - even if they are blonde.
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The Essence ofJ Rawls, J. Rawls;
Groove Attack Records
By W. Jacarl Melon
Daily Arts Writer
As of late, radio-friendly Midwest
hip-hop artists have been gaining more
617 Packard
Upstairs from
Paying $4 to $6
for top CD's in
top condition.
Also buying
premium LP's
and cassettes.
Open 7 days
The selection is

attention and love from people located
in the traditional media centers of New
York and Los Angeles Unfortunately,
their less commercial comrades are still
working to do the same in the under-
ground scene.
In Columbus, Ohio, native J. Rawls is
somewhat of an exception. He lent his
production skills to Mos Def and Talib
Kweli's Black Star and built a name for
himself with the Lone Catalysts. With
his release The Essence of1 Rawls, J.
Rawls lays down 14 tight tracks while
enlisting a talented yet almost unknown
group of wordsmiths from the Midwest
and East Coast.
On "Great Live Caper," a frantic J-
Live tells of an apartment break-in
where whack emcees get away with his
sacred book of rhymes. After a car chase
through New York that ends at a New
333 E. Huron " Ann Arbor
MicD{ia Osily .'us
ff suh,.11&.,1 Miai70 . -St it t ilt 5

Jersey airplane hanger, the suspect
escape only to have J-Live detonate t
book as they fly to supposed safety.
Live's creativity and delivery allows ti
listener to follow and visualize
scene he sees throughout the chase.
"Far Away" features two-thirds of t
Polyrhymaddicts' Apani B. Fly and M
Complex. Both rappers describe the gk
betrotting they've done through hip-ho
and their love for their home. If any
thing, the number of locations the
name proves that hip-hop is a globs
phenomenon. At the same time, thoug
it makes you wonder why they di
name any locations in the U.S. be
With "They Can't See Me," J. Raw
shows he can bless the mic. He stats
flat out that he isn't getting rich from h
rhymes or producing, but he's havin
fun. Even if he did happen to strike
rich, it doesn't look like he'd be rmnnin
for the jewelry store or Bentley deale:
ship. Rather, Rawls works on refinin
his already well-honed skills.
Overall, J. Rawls performance on T
Essence is somewhere between 4
and excellent. His heavily jazz-influ
enced style makes the album pleasing t
the ear. However, it falls a little short c
the efforts put out by other producet
this year like Jay Dee, Pete Rock an
Rawls' Ohio compatriot Hi-Tek. Whil
introducing some lyricists that peop!
may not be familiar with could b
regarded as a positive for the album,
also limits Rawls mainly to "unO
ground" hip-hop heads in the U.S. an
abroad. Although this album definitel
isn't a total negative, J. Rawls may has
to wait longer for people to capture an
appreciate his essence.

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