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That a film sequel will invariably fail to meet the standards of its predecessor is nearly axiomatic. For every brilliant sequel like 'Aliens' or 'Godfather: Part II', there are dozens of painfully lame successors. This is hardly a surprise, yet it is our own unerring tendency to flock, lemming-like, to sequels that insures their continued existence. Sequels make money, and that's a bad thing.
Take 'Legally Blonde 2'. Please.
By way of defense, let me point out that it isn't all that easy to find a movie that will entertain two adults, a 15 year old boy, and a 12 year old girl. Our hopes weren't high when we rented LB2 a couple of weekends ago; however, we all agreed that we had enjoyed the original movie, or at least hadn't actively hated it. That perky little Reese Witherspoon how can you not kinda like her, huh?
After seeing LB2, I will unreservedly credit it with one thing: it provided a rallying point for my often-scattered family. We were steadfast, united in our complete and utter loathing for this execrable movie. Beyond that questionable achievement, however, I'm not sure there's anything positive that can be said about this film.
As virtually every other reviewer on the planet has noted, the original 'Blonde' had some amusing moments, most of which were supplied by Ms. Witherspoon, who managed to inject the character of Elle Woods with a believable combination of ditziness and sweet charm. Also bolstering the original film was co-star Jennifer Coolidge, who played her dim-bulb shtick to perfection as Elle's beautician friend Paulette. Of course it was a by-the-numbers plot line as predictable as Oregon rain, but Witherspoon, et al played it lightly and for laughs and it worked.
The sequel, however, is an appalling mélange of preachiness, offensive stereotypes, and patently ludicrous plot devices. 'Legally Blonde' made points by taking a helium-weight, bubbleheaded rich girl and making her into a sympathetic character. In LB2, Elle is an annoying dipshit whose breathless naivete and hyperactive adventures are simply painful to endure.
There's no real point in enumerating all the faults of this movie. To do so would be to grant it more thought than evidently went into its creation. But I can't simply step away from one aspect of the film that I found both irritating and troubling. Viewers of the first film will no doubt remember Elle's Chihuahua, Bruiser. For reasons that are continually validated, I tend to hate cutesy cinematic animal sidekicks, and Bruiser was emphatically no exception. In LB2, however, Bruiser's sexuality becomes a repeated theme and convenient plot device. More specifically, we (and Elle) discover that Bruiser is (wait for it) gay.
Hilarity ensues, ad nauseum.
It's a damning testimony that 1) the writers of this movie were so desperate for script fodder that they came up with this stunningly lame idea in the first place;
2) that they play it so shamelessly for laughs; and 3) that certain plot twists depend on this fact. It's a stupid, stupid idea in a stupid, stupid movie.
Should I waste more of my time or yours decrying the utter waste of Jennifer Coolidge in this movie? What about Sally Field's humiliating role as Congresswoman Victoria Rudd? Bob Newhart's excruciating turn as the know-it-all hotel doorman cum political mentor. Finally, on a larger scale, should we discuss the massive suspension of disbelief that's required to even slightly believe a moment of this wretched film?
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