Legally Blonde 2
Red White & Blonde
3 out of 5 stars
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Reese Witherspoon once again effortlessly elevates a rather mediocre comedy to something far more enjoyable than it has any right to be. Elle Woods (Witherspoon) is now working for a cutthroat law firm in Boston while her fiance Emmett (Wilson) teaches at Harvard. While preparing for the wedding, Elle realises that her beloved dog Bruiser's mother is being used to test cosmetics, of all things! So she heads to Washington DC, gets a job with a congresswoman (Field) and starts working to pass Bruiser's Bill, outlawing all animal testing. Of course, she needs the help of a knowing DC doorman (Newhart) and her old pals (Coolidge, Cauffiel and Ubach), as well as some powerful congressional movers and shakers (Ivey and McGill). All while being careful to never get a hair out of place.

The first film worked so well because it was a voyage of discovery as Elle realises that she's not as dumb a blonde as she thought she was. Here it's all plot, so it's not nearly as engaging. And the first half of the film is so story-heavy that it drags badly. Fortunately, once the film kicks into gear, it is hilarious fun, throwing witty one-liners at the audience in rapid succession, while Witherspoon develops Elle's character without ever abandoning her essence (she still comes across as a bubble-headed valley girl). Director Herman-Wurmfeld (Kissing Jessica Stein) is efficient if uninspired, but Kondell's script has a few terrific twists--mostly silly gags that are at least laugh-out-loud funny. And the supporting cast entertains us with gratuitous subplots galore, although poor Wilson was almost written out of the film! The big climactic scene is rather painful with its idealistic patriotism (yawn), and the whole DC scene is more than a little contrived and unrealistic. But it will keep you chuckling as long as you don't think about it much. In other words: as long as you don't engage with the film any more deeply than a dumb blonde. Oops.

cert PG themes, innuendo 30.Jun.03

dir Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
scr Kate Kondell
with Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Bob Newhart, Luke Wilson, Jennifer Coolidge, Regina King, Jessica Cauffiel, Alanna Ubach, Dana Ivey, Bruce McGill, J Barton, Mary Lynn Rajskub
release US 2.Jul.03; UK 1.Aug.03
03/US 1h40

Doggy romance: Witherspoon, McGill and their gay dogs...

witherspoon field wilson
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall