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
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.
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