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Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde
Call Amnesty International! Legally Blonde 2 is a human rights violation!
Not only is it torture to watch, but it abuses the powerful medium of film by giving the audience the impression that ditzy, insipid behavior is not only acceptable but that it can somehow improve the world we live in. It wouldn't be so bad if the movie were some kind of social satire, but it seems the filmmakers expect the audience to find some kind of message in this insultingly horrible film. That message? All I could gather was "Put on your loudest outfit and cheer, 'I'm out of touch with reality!!!'" Seriously, America, if political issues don't directly affect you or your closet, then just wrinkle your nose and say, "Sorry I can't help, I have a facial scheduled that day." Legally Blonde 2 is disappointing not only because it does not live up to the first film, but also because it bogeys the chance to say something true and meaningful about how an individual can make a difference in their world.
The political issue at hand in Legally Blonde 2 is animal rights. Rather hypocritical if you ask me; one of the supporting characters is a dog wearing designer clothes. When lawyer Elle Woods discovers that the mother of her Chihuahua, Bruiser, is a test subject, she starts a crusade against animal cruelty that takes her straight to Washington D.C. With the sponsorship of fellow sorority alum. Representative Rudd, Elle drafts "Bruiser's Bill" which proposes a ban on cosmetic animal testing. Working against Elle is a cranky congressional committee as well as her congresswoman's staff aide, Grace. Grace maneuvers against Elle in support of her own bill for low-income housing (icky!). Luckily, Elle has fashion smarts and a Bel-Air attitude on her side. These curmudgeonly congrsspeople don't stand a chance against well-focused spunkiness!
The first Legally Blonde wasn't half bad. Why? Because the original film struck a balance that the sequel not only fails to achieve, but doesn't even attempt. The first film worked because heavy doses of smarminess were balanced with clever, slightly plausible plot turns and a main character the target audience of 14-year-olds could look up to. Not so in the sequel. In one scene in Legally Blonde 2, Elle espouses detailed personal information about members of congress that, in reality, would earn her an FBI interrogation. Instead, several characters do a ridiculous about-face and go from serious to smarmy in sixty seconds. Moments like this stun you out of your suspension of disbelief! It's as though the filmmakers actually believe their audience is a group of clueless fashion mag. junkies chomping at the bit for another clip of the dog in a cute outfit.
One has to wonder why Reese Witherspoon even made this film. She is spot-on as the perky Elle, but has nowhere to grow the character. When Elle brings out the sorority "snap cup" and is shot down with insults by her capitol hill companions, it is nothing short of a character regression.
Witherspoon's supporting cast includes Sally Field as Representative Rudd, Luke Wilson as the boyfriend, and Bob Newhart as a doorman/ D.C. insider. All three performances are on the I-needed-a-paycheck side of acceptable. Bel-Air buddies Paulette, Serena and Margot fall flat on nearly every joke, not to mention these actresses are at least five years too old for these roles.
In one scene, Elle shouts (over the swell of the soundtrack) "Find your voice! Speak Up, America!" That's exactly what America should do, speak up with those dollars and don't' see this movie. Not only that, consider berating anyone who seems interested in this film. It is a step backward in all respects from it's failure to develop any aspects of the original film, to its horrific societal "message."
-Megan A. Denny