Urban Cinefile
"Why is there a need to be glamorous?"  -Toni Collette on her role in About A Boy
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday October 3, 2019 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



As rising young lawyer Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) prepares for her wedding and discovers Bruiser’s mum (Bruiser is her dog) is one of the pets used for experiments to develop cosmetics, she tries to get her law firm to take action – but it’s not that kind of law firm, and she’s fired. So Elle goes to Washington to make the legislators do something to stop the practice. But the grey suited men and women on Capitol Hill don’t immediately respond as she’d like. So Elle plucks up her permanently pink determination and decides the only way to save the poor animals being used in this way is to change the law itself, by what becomes known as Bruiser’s Bill. It takes all of Elle’s combination of good intentions and pink-infused power puffing to make any headway, and then she discovers a powerful ally has betrayed her.

Review by Louise Keller:
If you are a trivia fan, chances are the Trivia Track on the DVD will be on your list to view. There’s plenty of inane trivia – things like how Reece Witherspoon looked forward to working with Bob Newhart, and information about his career. But first, the film…

Elle Woods, everybody’s blonde sweetheart has become a franchise since the smash success of Legally Blonde a couple of years ago, in which pink, fluffy pens and purple Imacs wielded as much power as the most hardened feminist. Legally Blonde 2 takes us back to the land of pinks, pastels and pooches, but this time it’s a bit of a let down, as direction, storyline and production design never reach the heights of the first film. I suppose it’s hard to imagine what Elle could get up to next, after making it through Harvard when her credentials were more suited to being a swimsuit model. Perhaps the writers of the screenplay had the same dilemma. And if the script doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how sparkling the cast or how cute some of the ideas, the result will never have that magical zing that makes a film so special. 

But Legally Blonde 2 is still an amusing and occasionally delightful load of fluff that creates its own ‘blonde’ reality with its wardrobe, French manicures and the chi-chi Chihuahua, Bruiser, who we learn in the closing credits, is dressed by ‘Fifi and Romeo’. The opening sequence has Elle’s friends flip through a spangled album created for her forthcoming wedding, being a clever device to remind us of key plot points from the first film. But it’s not until we are caught up in the life-changing haircuts that are traded for votes, that a sprinkle of magic begins to spread and Elle’s innocent sweetness kicks in. Reese Witherspoon is a terrific talent and her Elle has every blonde flounce, wiggle and flurry, even if all the elements are not complete. 

All our favourites are there, like Jennifer Coolidge as the skew-whiff beautician with the impossibly rubbery lips, Luke Wilson as Elle’s doting boyfriend, plus new characters like Sally Field’s two-faced ambitious, blonde congresswoman. Signature themes that were introduced in the first film are maintained – like things that are pink and scented, and the ‘bend and snap’ routine is expanded into the ‘snap cup’ which is designed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Of course the dogs are adorable, and there’s a scene in which we are shown the doggie rap, that has to be seen to be believed. (And there are no dogs present!) The humour and ‘blonde’ logic does have its own cumulative effect and at times is fun, frivolous and funny. But don’t expect too much, or you will be disappointed, whether you’re blonde or not.

The DVD is ‘fully accessorised’, and includes an audio commentary by cast members Jennifer Coolidge, Alannah Ubach and Jessica Cauffiel, a 25 minute featurette called ‘Blonde Ambition’, plus some short clips, including one about the production design and look of the film. The gag reel is worth a look, and there’s a string of deleted scenes, photo gallery and music video.

Published January 8, 2004

Email this article



CAST: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Bruce McGill, Dana Icey, Mary Lynn Rajkub, Jessica Cauffiel, Alanna Ubach, J. Barton, with Bob Newhart and Luke Wilson

DIRECTOR: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld

SCRIPT: Kate Kondell (story by Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake, Kate Kondell)

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen;

SPECIAL FEATURES: audio commentary; featurettes: Blonde Ambition, Pretty in Pink, Stars and Strips Never, Hair Apparent, Elle’s Anthem; Deleted scenes; gag reel; music video; trailer; photo gallery; Welcome to Delta Nu Interactive Quiz and a Trivia Track.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: January 7, 2004

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019