Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Movie Review
We begin in Boston, where councilwoman Elle Woods (Witherspoon) plans to wed her Harvard law professor beau, Emmett (Luke Wilson). Now, here's where things get tricky. Elle hires a private investigator to find her dog Bruiser's biological parents so she can invite them to the wedding (of course). But the dog's whereabouts open Elle's eyes to the horrors of animal testing, prompting the impulsive attorney to jet to D.C. with Bruiser in tow to pass a bill that makes such testing illegal.
Our hero receives help from the strangest political bedfellows. Former Delta Nu sorority sister and current State Representative Victoria Rudd (Sally Field) lends Elle a desk from which to work, while her hotel's politically savvy doorman (Bob Newhart) guides her through Washington's trenches. Elle's Capitol Hill quest is blocked by Grace (Regina King), a senior level congressional aide who has fought the political red tape for too long and has little patience for a perky, pink upstart.
Resistance, however, is futile. Much like Elle, the movie assaults our defiance with sweet-natured ignorance until we relent, letting our hair down and kicking up our high heel Gucci pumps. Admittedly, it takes more than a few minutes to reacquaint ourselves to Elle's powder puff surroundings. But it's Elle's world, after all. We just shop in it.
As it turns out, superficial played serious can be humorous in the hands of this versatile cast. Blonde 2 doesn't mind dabbling in stupidity, particularly when Elle is referred to as "the shrewdest political mind." It's far more accurate when a political aide drinks in Elle's visage and observes, "She's so shiny." Indeed, Witherspoon is luminous, and the whole movie benefits from her glow. In her second go round, Witherspoon continues to play Elle with a sincerity and zeal that's tough to fault. Constant backlighting on the part of director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld only helps.
The spotlight can't stay on Witherspoon for two full hours, though, or the waxy actress would melt. Therefore, four credited screenwriters enlist enough supporting pawns to fill two tables at a D.C. power lunch. Newhart seamlessly assumes the gentle mentor role and is given a chance to shine as an unassuming political mind. King makes a decent foil, a no-nonsense realist who's unimpressed with Elle's motivational exertions. Field isn't so lucky, but she makes the most of a predictable part and provides a welcome respite from Elle's sorority sisters Serena (Alanna Ubach) and Margot (Jessica Cauffiel), who weren't funny in the first film and don't benefit from increased screen time here.
Like a perm on a humid day, Blonde 2 withers down the stretch, though, and needs a shot of mousse to maintain its unique style. The ace up its sleeve is Witherspoon. She keeps the tone warm and the delivery fuzzy. Her presence lends a Capra-esque glimmer, and that's before Blonde 2 slips in the obligatory Mr. Smith Goes to Washington clip. Even better, she single-handedly packs more female empowerment into her well-manicured pinky nail than the three ladies of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle fit into their low-riding hot pants. In D.C., that's called winning by a landslide.
It's what we call a snow job.