“Erin Brockovich” is based on the true story of a woman who rose above her circumstances and changed the lives of hundreds. Julia Roberts (“Mirror, Mirror”) is phenomenal as Brockovich, a sassy middle-class, down-on-her-luck, single mom who won’t take no for an answer.
The movie opens with Brockovich desperately trying to charm her way into a medical office job as a clerk, lab assistant or anything else. But her charm and low-cut top do not avail against the doctor, who turns her down flat. She is met with disappointment, yet again.
Matters worsen when Brockovich is involved in an automobile accident and lands in a law office with a severely injured neck, $17,000 in medical bills and no money. Her case is assigned to the seasoned, crotchety lawyer, Edward Masry (Albert Finney, “Skyfall), with a disarming confidence in solving Brockovich’s plight.
The lawsuit appears to go in Brockovich’s favor until she opens her famously controversial mouth. Injured, broke and still unemployed, Brockovich muscles her way into Masry’s office and strikes an ultimatum: give her a probationary job, or she won’t go home. Caving to her persistence and wanting to quell the drama, Masry hires her as a filing clerk.
One day, Brockovich filters through case files and stumbles upon a set of documents that don’t seem “quite right.” Unable to let it go, she takes off on a seemingly harebrained mission to track down the truth. Throughout the movie, every “decent” citizen seems to scoff at the “trampy” woman without a “proper” education — but little do they know of what she has found.
As the plot thickens, the unlikely, yet perfectly matched, team of Brockovich and Masry take on what seems like small-town injustice and becomes the biggest settlement awarded in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history.
Roberts exudes emotion and determination in this film. She perfectly embodies Brockovich’s human struggle to rise above feminine perceptions in an effort to fight for what’s right.