Campus classics: Election


Image: Paramount Pictures
Image: Paramount Pictures

Okay, so you’ve probably seen Reese Witherspoon do her turn as the super ambitious, nothing-can-stop-me-now Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: not only does this girl get into Harvard, she scores a seriously impressive internship and ends up being the top of her class! Yeah… personally, I find that film less “inspiring” and more “intimidating” – by the end credits I always end up rocking back and forth on the floor, eating Nutella from the jar, in the knowledge that I will never be as accomplished as this fictional character. Now, if you’re looking for a Reese Witherspoon movie that actually will give you hope and make you crack open the books, I would seriously recommend Election.

Cute nineties Reese does a turn as Tray Flick, a plucky over-achiever who decides that she will become student body present – and crush anyone that tries to stand in her way. Her outright determination is completely what you need to get you in the revision mood and it’s nice to have a reminder that, if you work hard enough, you will achieve your goals! But, yeah, I guess that’s not really the point of the film… any of you that have seen it know that much of the comedy comes from Tracy’s increasingly deranged behaviour when things don’t go exactly her way and her history teacher’s (Matthew Broderick) futile attempts to thwart her well laid plans. Tracy is repeatedly portrayed as being a grating, Type A kind of girl but hey, she has perfect grades, refuses to buckle under pressure and then gets into Georgetown and ultimately into politics – at the end of the day, annoying those around you is a very small price to pay for getting on in the world.

After re-watching Election at the start of the holiday I wrote two essays, started revision and got a summer job sorted: take it from me, Tracy’s sweater sets and perky ponytails are pretty much all you need to motivate you to get your life in order. And I mean it.

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