Legally Blonde 2

Just in time for the 4th of July comes Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, a completely unnecessary sequel that destroys any of the moderate charm of the original. This is a crass attempt to cash in on an unexpected hit by copying it in a different setting, and it does not work. Legally Blonde was amusing (sort of) because it was original (sort of). Legally Blonde 2 takes Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon, Sweet Home Alabama, The Importance of Being Earnest) and moves her from law school to Washington. The jokes are the same, and even though they all lost steam by the end of the first film, they bring them all back for another film. Another reason for this film is Witherspoon, whose jump to superstardom has happened in the span of a couple movies. Her characters tend to be likable and perky, and Elle takes perkiness to an annoying extreme. The bulk of the film finds Witherspoon mugging constantly at her co-stars and the camera.

Elle is preparing for her wedding to Emmett (Luke Wilson, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Alex and Emma) when she realizes that the wedding cannot proceed unless she invites Bruiser, her pet Chihuahua's mom. A short time later, she learns that Bruiser's mom is an animal test subject for a large cosmetics company, which outrages Elle. Her newfound activism gets her fired from her job and she goes on her merry way to Washington under the tutelage of Rep. Rudd (Sally Field, Say It Isn't So, Where the Heart Is) to try to enact Bruiser's Bill, which outlaws animal testing. Her flashy clothes and endless innocence shocks everybody, especially Rudd's aide Grace Stoteraux (Regina King, Daddy Day Care, Down to Earth). Everybody thinks Elle will fail, but to their shock, she is able to move her bill quickly through the jaded halls of Congress.

There is so little to Legally Blonde 2 that it's actually depressing to watch. Many of the characters from the first, notably Jennifer Coolidge (A Mighty Wind, Zoolander) return, but there is no point for their appearance. This is especially true for Wilson, who has been marginalized as a character twice in two weeks. The one new character worth watching is Sidney Post (Bob Newhart, In & Out, The Rescuers Down Under), Elle's doorman. Newhart is doing the same character he always does, but he has so much more depth than anybody else here. This is a completely unrealistic view of how Congress operates, but that's not the point of Kate Kondell's script, based off a story by Kondell, and Dennis Drake and Eve Alhert (Down With Love). The point is to show how a girl can use her vast knowledge of makeup and honest personality to accomplish the impossible. Nice aspirations, but what a horrible way to do it.

It all boils down to how much Witherspoon one can stand. In this case, a little goes a long way, and since director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (Kissing Jessica Stein, Fanci's Persuasion). He does everything in broad strokes, moving things quickly and haphazardly. Elle lives in a strange world where things don't quite translate to the real world, so it's okay that she's looking for her pet dog's mother. However, the many jokes and the Elle character are uninspiring, although they somehow seem to win over everybody in the film. There is also no depth to the film. The people are good or bad, and switch sides at the bat of an eye. While the film should be light, it should be the humor that is light, not everything else.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 34 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some sex-related humor.

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