Legally Blonde is iconic for a lot of reasons like the Bend and Snap, “…like it’s hard?” line, and just about everything else Elle Woods says and does but as co-writer of the film, Karen McCullah revealed, the original ending was not so great.
A quick refresher – after Elle gloriously wins the court case and tells Warner he’s a total bonehead, we skip ahead a couple of years to Elle’s graduation. She gives an epic speech, shows leadership, ambition, and misleads all of us into having dreams to study law at Harvard University. Afterwards, we get the little shots of the graduation ceremony where we learn Elle has been offered a job at a prestigious law firm, Warner is a total loser with no job prospects, Vivian is besties with Elle, Emmett plans to propose, and of course Paulette and the UPS guy are happily preggers.
It was a sweet and perfect ending to the film.
Speaking to American publication, Entertainment Weekly McCullah shared how instead of the above, this happened.
“Originally it ended at the courthouse right after the trial… Everyone was congratulating Elle, Emmett came up and gave her a big kiss. Then there was a tag where it was a year in the future and she and Vivian, who was now blonde, had started the Blonde Legal Defense Fund and they were in the quad handing out pamphlets.”
Tacky, kinda shittily tacky.
Luckily, the audience at the test screening protested it by bending and snapping their tickets (not really).
“The test-screening audience didn’t feel like it was an exciting enough ending for her, success-wise. The kiss made it seem like it was a rom-com… They knew that this was not a movie about a girl getting a guy.”
It may have been all about Warner at the beginning but by the end, it bloody well isn’t.
So then what happened?
McCullah, the other co-writer Kirsten Smith, the film’s director Robert Luketic, and the producer Marc Platt gathered ’round in the movie-theatre lobby after that very test-screening and then BAM, the graduation speech scene was born.
It was a bit of a struggle re-filming the ending though. Reese Witherspoon was already in England working on another project and had cut her hair shorter than Elle’s as had Luke Wilson who had completely shaved his head off for another film. So what you see in that final scene is a whole lotta wig action. And apparently if you look really closely at the grad scene, you’ll also notice some lighting differences since this scene was shot in London but the reactions/ audience scene was filmed in Burbank.
So there you have it folks. Test-screen audience, where ever you may be today, thank you ‘cos as McCullah says “the new ending was way more satisfying.”
Anywhoo, if you’re feeling a bit sluggish after all the Easter or just Sunday eating, then here’s some advice.
Might want to disregard the shooting-husband bit.