Legally Blonde | 2001
The locations for Legally Blonde are not, as you might have assumed, around Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although much of the film is set at Harvard University, apart from a few establishing shots as Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) arrives in Harvard Square, the movie was shot almost entirely in Los Angeles.
Superficially ditsy Beverly Hills blonde Elle Woods proves she can cut it with the blue bloods at law school after she’s dumped by her arrogant boyfriend.
The romantic restaurant where Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) lets Elle know it’s over, is Il Cielo, 9018 Burton Way, which really is in Beverly Hills. Opened in 1986, it claims to be the most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles, and certainly looks the part. The fairy-lit exterior seen in the film, however, was recreated on the campus of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), on LA’s Westside.
Much of the filming was around Pasadena, east of Los Angeles, where the CalTech Campus, 1200 East California Boulevard, stood in for the fictitious ‘CULA’.
The Gothic ‘Harvard’ square is the rector’s house of All Saints Church, 132 North Euclid Avenue, Pasadena (which you might also have seen in Cruel Intentions and The Other Sister). Still in Pasadena, the college’s hallways and classrooms are those of Rose City High School, 325 South Oak Knoll Avenue, which was also used for school scenes in Catch Me If You Can and Pleasantville.
345 South Hill Avenue, south of East Del Mar Boulevard – which is part of CalTech’s campus – became the ‘Gamma Theta’ sorority house.
East of Pasadena, ‘Neptune’s Beauty Nook’ is 625 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia. The exterior of the courthouse is Orange County Law Office (the interior is a set which was originally built at Sylmar, north of LA, for Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil).
The final graduation ceremony was added after the ending left test audiences unsatisfied. By then, Reese Witherspoon had already headed off to London to film The Importance of Being Earnest, so the rousing finale was filmed in Dulwich College, College Road, Dulwich Village, London SE21.