Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde (1)

 Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley


 The verdict is in on Reese Witherspoon.  The jury has been out for quite awhile. Two years ago Legally Blonde was one of the best movies of the year.  What made it so unique was that it was on the cusp of being ridiculous, but cleverly never crossed the line.  The result was a runaway, surprise hit.  I thought it was terrific.

 It was such a spontaneously huge hit that it was a complete surprise, so, to strike while the iron was hot, Witherspoon rushed out Sweet Home Alabama, which was awful.

 Now she returns to where she made her success and reprises her role as Elle Woods, a quintessential ďdumb BlondeĒ who, in the original, was dumb like a fox. Whatís the verdict?  Legally Blonde 2 is worse than Sweet Home Alabama and Witherspoon is in danger of being nothing more than a one-hit wonder, a mere blip on the radar screen.  Instead of being dumb like a fox, here sheís just dumb.  The plot is that Woods is trying to save her dogís mother from a medical research lab, which takes her to Washington and involves her with Congresswoman Rudd (Sally Field) and Doorman Sid Post (Bob Newhart).  Shakespeare didnít have this in mind when he penned Much Ado About Nothing, but that title aptly describes this trifle.  The storyís inane; the scriptís inane; the actingís deplorable.

 Just as an example of how ludicrous this is, Woods addresses a joint session of Congress.  How many times does the President of the United States address a joint session of Congress, you might ask?  Good question.  Thereís a one-time-a-year regularly scheduled address called the State of the Union Address.  Other than that, he doesnít do it unless heís asking Congress to declare war or something relatively serious like that. Iím not aware of anyone else who can address a joint session of Congress. In Legally Blonde 2, however, we are supposed to sit in the audience and blithely accept the notion that this person who isnít even a Member of Congress (much less President of the United States) is addressing a joint session of Congress to get them to pass a bill to save her dogís mother.  Yeah, Iím going to rush out and pay good money to see that!

 Why is this so bad when Legally Blonde was so good?  Well, maybe itís because Legally Blonde was directed by Robert Luketic and written by Kirsten Smith and Legally Blonde II is directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfield and written by three people whom I will charitably refrain from mentioning.  Herman-Wurmfield canít blame the cast because heís got two-time Oscar winner Field and Emmy winner Newhart along with heartthrob Luke Wilson in supporting roles.  Alas, theyíre working with a script by three different people, none of whom could come up with even one scene that wasnít vacuous.  Witherspoonís dumb-like-a-fox blond shtick has worn out its welcome.  It was cute the first time.  Now itís tiresome.

 Maybe, also, itís because Witherspoon is the Executive Producer of Legally Blonde 2, whereas Legally Blonde was produced by professionals.  But there might be a logical explanation for this, too.  A professional wouldnít touch this with a ten-foot pole. 

 July 5, 2003

 The End