Legally Blonde 2: More like Legally Bland

July 8, 2003, midnight | By Katherine Zhang | 20 years, 11 months ago

There is nothing as torturous and tiring as sitting through Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. Watching this film is so tiring, in fact, that it could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. The movie is a mumble-jumble of everything pink, silly, and ditzy, minus all the elements a good movie and a good comedy needs.

After being fired from her job at a law firm and discovering that the mother of her beloved chihuahua, Bruiser, is a victim of animal testing, Harvard Law grad Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) drops everything, including planning for her wedding to Emmett Richmond (Luke Wilson), and makes it her responsibility to go to Washington and help legislators pass Bruiser's Bill, a bill to outlaw animal testing. And so Hurricane Elle ends up in the nation's capital with a job with Congresswoman Victoria Rudd (Sally Field).

You have to wonder what Reese Witherspoon was thinking when she agreed to do this movie. Whereas the first Legally Blonde was funny and creative, its sequel pushes the limits of cuteness and optimism until you get a protagonist that the audience ceases to sympathize with and other characters whose personalities become flat-out unbelievable. This wouldn't be so bad if the protagonist and the characters weren't such important elements in a film.

Elle Woods, aptly dubbed "Capital Barbie" by co-worker Timothy McGinn (J. Barton), is not only excessively cheerful but also lacks the ability to stray from the color pink. Pink outfits, pink cell phones, pink handbags, even a pink engagement ring. Sure, Elle Woods has her down times, but for much of the movie she is so insanely bubbly, lively, and pink that she brings the Energizer Bunny to mind. It's good to be optimistic, but for Elle, the glass is not full but overflowing. After about ten minutes her uncanny ability to stay hyper makes you want to scream. And when the main character fails to evoke your sympathy, you know the movie is…well, going down.

Besides a failed attempt at a good protagonist, Legally Blonde 2 also lacks other realistic characters. The only person that really steps up and meets the challenge of portraying a reasonable character is Sally Field as the serious, experienced and somewhat ruthless-for-reelection Congresswoman Victoria Rudd. It's spectacular, actually. Field really presents her ability to step into the shoes of any character and adroitly represent their personalities and emotions. Unfortunately, her successful portrayal of a legislator is not enough to save the movie, not when a fellow congresswoman turns from a no-nonsense politician to a dancing sorority sister in public and another bursts out sobbing in the middle of a committee session. Since when did politicians get so emotional? In a movie where the protagonist is already too giddy and energetic, the same personalities from other characters, especially the politicians, is hardly tolerable.

Besides all that, there are the random little tidbits in the plot that make you wonder. When Elle decides that she and her co-workers need help with their lobbying, she brings in her friends from Massachusetts, one of whom thinks the Statue of Liberty is in Washington and another who believes the Sunshine State is Ohio. And then there are the unconventional lobbying techniques, such as the cheerleading gig inside Capitol Hill. These arbitrary, bizarre little scenes, besides being sad excuses for comedy, once again take away more of the plausibility from a movie that is already teetering on the edge of excessive foolishness. It's okay to be creative, but there is a fine line between creativity and absurdity. Apparently no one involved in making the movie noticed when the writer crossed that line.

Certainly, there are a few elements to be admired about Legally Blonde 2, such as Elle's tenacity to finish whatever she starts and the help and support she receives from friends. But the giddiness, the energy and the pinkness get to be too much, and consequently the movie lacks believable characters and a good, believable plot. Unfortunately the bad outweighs the good, and Legally Blonde 2 spoils the fun and admirable elements of its prequel. It's disappointing, really.

Legally Blonde 2: 94 minutes, Rated PG-13

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Katherine Zhang. Katherine Zhang likes French baguettes, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, bookmarks, fresh boxes of rosin, Brad Meltzer novels, and of course, "JAG." In her free time, Katherine enjoys knitting, playing the violin, and reading - especially legal thrillers and books about people in faraway places and long-ago times. … More »

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