Wait. Legally Blonde Originally Had a Queer Ending?

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As one of the world’s biggest rom-com proponents, I didn’t think I had anything left to learn about Legally Blonde, perhaps our era’s greatest work of sorority art. That’s why, when I read Ilana Kaplan’s recent oral history of the 2001 film in the New York Times, I was thunderstruck to learn that the original ending had bubbly, blonde super-lawyer Elle (Reese Witherspoon) and her dark-haired, frequently scowling one-time rival Vivian (Selma Blair)…ending up together?

Okay, to be fair, the original ending was a little more ambiguous than that. Jessica Cauffiel, who played one of Elle’s sorority-sister best friends, said it went thus: “The first ending was Elle and Vivian in Hawaii in beach chairs, drinking margaritas and holding hands. The insinuation was either they were best friends or they had gotten together romantically.” Alanna Ubach, who played another of Elle’s BFFs, said she remembered that ending as well, though the screenwriters allege they never wrote it. Am I crazy, or is this the greatest onscreen betrayal since Leo drowned in Titanic?

It’s not that I’m not grateful for out-and-out queer rom-coms like Happiest Season, but the prospect of a version of Elle Woods who ends up dating Vivian is almost too much for me to bear. Elle is perhaps the nicest, smartest version of the “hot girl” trope that I had presented to me in the early aughts (the Legally Blonde sequel chronicles her fight against animal testing, for God’s sake!), and if I’d gotten to absorb a version of her that was queer like me, well…honestly, I might have become too powerful. Is there still room for a Legally Blonde 3 that revolves around Elle and Vivian planning their wedding while facing off against one another in court?

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