Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
A wish-fulfillment fairy tale, more voguishly known as an empowerment myth, concerning a So-Cal sorority sister, Fashion Merchandising major, and Miss Hawaiian Tropic runner-up (Reese Witherspoon, in her mile-wide vein of mockery) who gets herself admitted into Harvard Law School to chase after her ex-boyfriend -- and oh by the way, outrun him to the head of the class. Some of the details, if you allow maybe a hundred yards of slack for knowledge of how the world works, are giddily inventive: the admissions-application "video essay" (directed by an unspecified Coppola) delivered in an assortment of swimming pools and bikinis, or the pet Chihuahua named Bruiser, or the pink pompom at the top of her classroom pen. Ready as we may be, however, to applaud the discovery and cultivation of a human brain, willing as we may be to believe that this can occur in the airiest of heads, we might balk nonetheless at the two-faced assumption that it's as simple as turning on a faucet. The idea of growth without change goes against nature. Like the idea of satire without teeth. Luke Wilson, Matthew Davis, Selma Blair, Jennifer Coolidge, Raquel Welch; directed by Robert Luketic. 2001.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated PG-13