Most people associate Reese Witherspoon with romantic comedies such as Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, This Means War, and How Do You Know. Some higher-brow people may even argue that she’s a prestigious actress with an Academy Award under her belt for her role as June Carter in Walk the Line.
However, in light of her recent arrest for disorderly conduct and her role as Juniper in the gritty drama Mud, I have hopes that Witherspoon will get back to who she was when she was first starting out.
In her early career, Witherspoon started off as a bad-ass, tough-as-nails, somewhat promiscuous actress with films that were darker in theme, visually-intoxicating, and down-right entertaining. I’d like to spotlight these films and hopefully gain them an audience so you can respect the actress that she could have been instead of the goodie-two-shoes actress she has become.
A deliciously redneck Witherspoon starred as Vanessa, a juvenile delinquent who hitchhikes and lands a ride with a big bad wolf. In this twisted tale of “Little Red Riding Hood,” Vanessa is off to grandma’s house running from a deranged killer and committing a few murders herself along the way.
Nicole Walker (Witherspoon) is in love with a secretly sadistic young man who goes insane after she attempts to break up with him. It’s a roller coaster ride of sexuality and adrenaline, and Wahlberg, as the film’s bad boyfriend, is equally mesmerizing.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
This is a classic for its somewhat incestuous plotline, but more so it is because of the razor-sharp dialogue that is exchanged between the three leads: Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Philippe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Witherspoon stars as the good virgin, but it quickly becomes obvious how willing she is to change that.
American Psycho (2000)
In this twisted, psychotic tale, Witherspoon stars as the psycho’s materialistic girlfriend Evelyn, who is merely there for appearance so he seems relatively “normal.” Anyone who’s seen this movie knows just how crazy, yet humorous it is. You’ll never look at Huey Lewis and the News the same again.