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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Movies: Legally Blonde

Hi guys!

For Legal English lessons please go to idiglegalenglish.blogspot.com

It’s been some time since I last reviewed a movie for you (review being a loose term here), so I thought:” Why not do it today :)” And what better movie to discuss than a mushy, unrealistic chick flick!!!

I’ve been obsessively reading and listening to anything connected with Legal English, so that’s where my pick came from.

loose – luźny (with broad interpretation)
mushy – ckliwy (overly emotional)
a chick flick – a movie for girls
a pick – wybór (a choice)

Back in 2001, when the movie first came out, I had no idea that the title, Legally Blonde, was not only what the movie dealt with in a nutshell, but, more importantly, it was a clever pun on a technical term “legally blind”, which means to have vision that is 20/200* or worse in both eyes. Poor blonde people!!! That title makes it sound like there it is something bad and unfortunate about being blonde!

*20/200 vision – the ability to see at 20 feet (6 m) what a normal eye can see at 200 feet (60 m)

On a funny note, I once asked a female judge who also happened to be BLONDE if she had seen the movie. Fortunately, she took the question as it was intended (as a joke) and laughed (Phew!) and I believe she also said yes :)

to deal with – traktować o czymś (to be about)
in a nutshell – w skrócie (using as few words as possible)
a pun – gra słów, aluzja (a humorous use of a word or phrase which has several meanings or which sounds like another word)
vision – wzrok (eyesight, how well you see)
unfortunate – pechowe (unlucky)
Phew! – Uff! (used when you are happy that something difficult or dangerous has finished or is not going to happen)

If you haven’t seen the movie yet – well, you must have been living under a rock. But in short, it’s about a girl who gets dumped by her longtime boyfriend after he decides he can’t be taken seriously as a Harvard law student with a pink-loving girlfriend on his arm. And yes, you guessed it, she follows him to Harvard to study law in order to impress him and win him back.

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the characters in the movie, shall we?

You must have been living under a rock – How come you haven’t heard about it/seen it?)
to get dumped – być rzuconym przez chłopaka/dziewczynę (when your BF/GF breaks up with you)
on his arm – u jego boku (on his side, next to him)
to win somebody’s back – odzyskać (to make someone want to be in a relationship with them again) 

Elle Woods
Elle is a fashion merchandising graduate, who loves all things pink and girly. She is also very keen on social events such as formals and mixers.
At first you might think of Elle as a typical shallow, materialistic, silly girl. However, a few scenes into the movie, your perception of her changes. She can stand up for herself and be as passionate and knowledgeable about law as fashion.
Elle is by no means a mean girl, but rather an affable and lovable person who attracts people like a magnet even if at first they seem unwilling to warm up to her.

merchandising – sprzedaż (the process of getting goods (products) from the producer to the consumer
a graduate – absolwent(ka) (a person who has finished their school, college or university education)
to be keen on – lubić (to like, enjoy)
a formal – bal, zabawa w strojach wieczorowych (a dance or ball that requires formal attire)
a mixer – spotkanie zapoznawcze (a party or dance which has been organized so that people in a group can get to know each other)
shallow – płytka (not showing serious or careful thought)
perception – postrzeganie (the way you see someone, something)
to stand up for yourself – być asertywnym (to be assertvie, to defend your opinions)
knowledgeable about – z dużą wiedzą na jakiś temat (knowing a lot on the subject)
by no means – wcale (not at all)
affable – sympatyczna, przyjazna (friendly and easy to talk to)
to warm up to someone – przekonać się do kogoś (to get to like someone more and more)

Bruiser Woods
Bruiser is a male Chihuahua. He’s a Gemini vegetarian just like Elle. He’s very chic and can often be spotted wearing cute doggy clothes and drinking Evian water. He enjoys giving people gratuitous kisses.

Gemini – spod znaku Bliźniąt (the third sign of the zodiac, relating to the period 23 May to 21 June, represented by  twins, or a person born during this period)
chic – szykowny, stylowy (stylish)
to spot – zauważyć (to see, to notice)
gratuitous – bezpłatne, niczym nieuzasadnione (free)

Paulette Bonafonté
Paulette works at a hair and nail salon, where she and Elle first meet. They bond over their love problems (Paulette has some serious emotional baggage) and love for dogs.

to bond over – budować więź na podstawie (to develop a close connection or strong relationship with someone based on …)

Warner Huntington III
Warner is a blue-blooded douche and loser. He lacks a mind of his own and work ethic, but for some reason he feels superior to Elle. He also isn’t very creative when it comes to the nicknames he picks for the girls he dates. Pooh bear*? Are you serious?

blue-blooded – z arystokratycznej rodziny (of aristocratic birth)
a douche – frajer (a douchebag, a jerk, an idiot)
to lack a mind of his/her own – brak mu/jej własnego zdania (to copy what others do without thinking)
work ethic – etyka pracy (a belief that work is morally good, important and character-building)
to feel superior to  – czuć się lepszym od (to feel better than)
*from Winnie the Pooh – Kubuś Puchatek

Vivian Kensington
Vivian is a preppy girl, who may sometimes come across as a frigid bitch (Elle’s words, not mine). “She could use some mascara and some serious highlights, but she’s not completely unfortunate looking*”. 

* I believe that in the Polish version of the movie this fragment is translated as “Nie jest totalnym maszkaronem”, or something to that effect , which gets me every time :D
something to that effect – something of similar meaning
gets me every time – makes me laugh every time I watch the movie

preppy – bogata, wykształcona i dobrze ubrana (about someone from a rich family who goes to an expensive school and who wears expensive, tidy clothes)
to come across as –być postrzeganym jako (to behave in a way which makes people believe that you have a particular characteristic)
frigid – oziębła, chłodna (unfriendly, overly formal)
could use some – przydałyby się jej (it would be nice to have/would look good on her)
highlights – jaśniejsze pasemka (lighter strands of hair)

The UPS Guy
The UPS Guy delivers packages and has a habit of asking the addressee for a signature. Definitely a charmer and a bit of a looker.

a charmer – czaruś, czarująca osoba (a charming person)

Emmett likes to hang around the campus and share his tips and tricks on how to successfully get through the first year of Harvard Law. He hasn’t been called a butthead since the ninth grade.

a butthead  – głąb, osioł (a stupid person)
the ninth grade – freshman (first) year of high school (14/15 years old)

And now I would like to share some of my favourite quotes from the movie:

[Elle is looking at a magazine and sees a picture of Warner's older brother and his fiancée]
  Elle:           Oh, my God! Do you know who this is?
  Old Lady:    No.
  Elle:           That’s Warner's older brother.
Old Lady:      Who?
[Elle reads article about Warner's brother and his fiancée]
Elle:             This is the type of girl that Warner wants to marry. This is what I need to become to be serious.
Old Lady:      What? Practically deformed?
Elle:            No, a law student.

a fiancée – narzeczona (a future wife, a girl you want to marry)

Elle’s Dad:    Law school?
Elle:             It's a perfectly respectable place, daddy.
Elle’s Mum:   Honey, you were first runner up at the Miss Hawaiian Tropics contest. Why are you gonna throw that all away?
Elle:             Going to Harvard is the only way I'll get the love of my life back.
Elle’s Dad:    Oh, sweetheart, you don't need law school. Law school’s for people who are boring and ugly and serious. And you, Button, are none of those things.

respectable – poważny, przyzwoity (regarded by society to be good, proper, or correct)
the first runner up – zawodnik, który zajął drugie miejsce (one that takes second place, as in a game, sport, or other competition)
to throw something away – zmarnować coś (to waste a skill or opportunity)

From Elle’s Harvard application video

Elle:                   I feel confident using legal jargon in
                          daily life.

[Elle is walking across the campus when suddenly a random frat boy pinches
 her butt.]

Elle:                I object!

random – przypadkowy (here- a stranger, someone you don’t know)
a frat boy – chłopak z bractwa (a young man who behaves in a boisterous /noisy/ or foolish (/stupid/ manner considered typical of members of some college fraternities /bractwa, social organisations for college guys)
to pinch – szczypać (to squeeze something, especially someone's skin)
a butt – tyłek (a bottom, ass, etc.)
I object – Zgłaszam sprzeciw, (Wysoki Sądzie) (to declare or express the belief that something (a question asked in a court of law or an answer to a question) is improper, illegal, confusing, etc.)

Elle:          Two weeks ago I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal and I talked her out of buying this truly heinous angora sweater. Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed.

to talk somebody out of  doing something – odwieść kogoś od zrobienia czegoś (to persuade someone not to do something)
heinous – ohydny (awfully ugly)
disturbed – zaburzony, niezrównoważony (not thinking or behaving normally because of mental or emotional problems)

Professor:           Ms. Woods, you did well today.

Elle:                   Really?

Professor:         You're applying for my internship, aren't you?

Elle:                   I don't know.

Professor:         You should. Do you have a resume?

Elle:                   Yes, I do. Here it is.

Professor:          It's pink.

Elle:                   Oh, and it's scented. I think it gives it a little something extra. Don’t you think?

an internship – staż (any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession)
a resume – życiorys (a CV)
scented – perfumowany (perfumed)

Elle:             I brought you some necessities. Some Calvin Klein 720-count sheets,
                    the entire Clinique skincare line, some aromatherapy candles, a loofah... Oh! 
Elle:             And the Bible.
necessities – artykuły pierwszej potrzeby (something that you need, especially in order 
to live)
thread count – ilość splotów (200tc or 200 thread count, that means there were 200 
threads per one square inch of fabric. Thread count in bed sheets can range from 60 to 800.
 The most often purchased sheets are sheets that range from 180 to 350 thread count. 
Basically, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheets feel. Keep in mind, the higher
 the thread count, the more expensive the sheets are as well) 
sheets – pościel (bedding)
a loofah – gąbka (something you rub your body with to wash it)
 [at the water fountain, Enrique cuts in line in front of Elle, Elle is being impatient]
Enrique  :            Don't stomp your little last season Prada shoes at me, honey.
Elle:                   These aren't last season.
[Elle runs to tell others about her observation.]
Elle:                   Emmet, he’s gay! Enrique is gay!
Emmet:                           What?
Elle:                   Warner, what kind of shoes are these?
Warner:              Black ones.
Warner:              Back up. How do you know he’s gay?
 Elle:                  Gay men know designers. Straight men don't.
Brooke:        You know what? He did leave a Cher tape in the pool house one time.
to cut in line (in front of) – wepchnać się przed kogoś (to jump the queue,
 to unfairly go to the front of a queue/line)
to stomp – tupać (to put a foot down on the ground hard and quickly, 
making a loud noise, often to show anger)
to back something up – udowodnić, uwiarygodniać  (to prove something is true)

I have also written a blog post dedicated to the most interesting legal terms
found in Legally Blonde. Make sure you visit it as well!


Hope you enjoyed!