Fact Check

Did 'Legally Blonde' Have an Alternate Ending?

The rumor surfaced on the film's 20th anniversary.

Published July 12, 2021

 (Twitter screenshot)
Image courtesy of Twitter screenshot
The 2001 movie "Legally Blonde" originally ended with Elle and Vivian getting involved romantically.

On July 8, 2021, Decider, a website that reports on shows and movies offered through streaming services, posted a tweet that characterized a rumor about the 2001 film "Legally Blonde" as a fact — namely that the movie originally ended with the main character Elle Woods becoming romantically involved with her rival.

The source for the rumor above was a story published by the New York Times on the same date as the Decider story. The Times story commemorated the 20th anniversary of the release of the popular fish-out-of-water comedy that follows Elle, a Southern California sorority girl, on her journey to Harvard Law School. In the film she tries to wi her ex-boyfriend back but discovers he is dating Vivian, played by Selma Blair.

But the Times story acknowledges that although two of the film's actors, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach, recalled an ending to the film showing Elle and Vivian becoming involved, the movie's screenwriters said it's not true:

CAUFFIEL 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.

[Ubach remembers this as well but the screenwriters say they never wrote that ending.]

The movie's screenwriter Karen McCullah even took to Twitter to respond to Decider's tweet.

It's unclear why two people would recall the same thing, raising a number of possibilities: Was the alternate ending recounted by Cauffiel to the Times an unscripted pitch? Was it hearsay? We note that the two actors who remembered it were not the actors who would have been in the scene (that would have been Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair). Whatever the case may be, it was never the work of the person who wrote the movie.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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