Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

What was fresh yesterday, goes off tomorrow. Why didn't anyone tell Reese Witherspoon? Too late now. The Daughter of Blonde is upon us.

The original joke was a good one, despite its reliance on snobbery. Elle Woods (Witherspoon) is a Californian girl, straight out of Clueless, who could major in shopping but not much else. When her upper-class boyfriend dumps her, after being accepted into Harvard, because she won't fit into his plans for a political future, she is devastated and rather than lie in bed, sobbing and eating chocolates, she pulls herself together, finds a way of acquiring herself a place at the university and follows him there. The posh students treat her like West Coast trash, but she wins through with a top law degree, a whole bunch of new friends and the most eligible lecturer (Luke Wilson) on her arm.

The sequel repeats the whole thing, except in Washington DC, rather than on campus. Elle has become an attorney and is about to be made a partner in a prestigious firm, when she discovers a laboratory, where animals are tested for the cosmetic industry. Because this involves her chihuahua, Bruiser, whose mother happens to be one those about to be experimented upon, Elle rushes to the seat of power to have a bill drafted, forbidding such cruelty. Despite an endorsement from Rep Victoria Rudd (Sally Field) and the loan of a corner desk in her outer office, she encounters the usual responses from fellow workers ("She's so shiny!"), who laugh behind their hands at her gauche, vulgar enthusiasm. They dub her Capitol Barbie and, like the snobby Harvard students, refuse to take her seriously. As before, her charm and doggone friendliness manipulates everyone to her way of thinking. If you can imagine James Stewart's granddaughter in a pink suit with bows and twinkly high heels, this could be Mz Smith Goes To Washington.

Hit movie carbon copies are produced on the Heinz baked beans principal. If every tin is identical, the disappointment factor becomes dull and void. Blonde 2 is Blonde 1 in a wig. No-one has taken any trouble in creating running gags, or comic sub plots. The new characters, with the exception of Field, are potty putty. Stragglers from the Californian shopping mall make a brief appearance and Wilson is hanging around, looking embarrassed. Bruiser has the second biggest role.

Witherspoon treads water. It's a shame, but if anyone's going to do the treading, it might as well be her. As a smart babe with the attitude of a feather cushion, she's terrific value. It may be personal, but when she smiles, lights go on in Ankor Watt.

Reviewed on: 31 Jul 2003
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Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & 
Blonde packshot
Reese Witherspoon repeats her Californian shopping mall babette-now-attorney in Washington DC
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Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld

Writer: Kate Kondell

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Bruce McGill, Dana Ivey, Luke Wilson

Year: 2003

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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