tek's rating: ½

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (PG-13)
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This is the sequel to Legally Blonde. It came out in 2003, but I didn't see it until 2017. It wasn't well received by critics, but I don't really understand that. It's maybe not quite as good as the first movie, but it's still pretty decent. I mean, it's basically the same movie, so I could understand if anyone felt like it was unnecessary or repetitive, or whatever. But the idea of just flat out thinking it's significantly inferior to the first movie... that I can't comprehend. If you enjoyed the first movie, you should enjoy this one nearly as much. And I did.

So anyway, Elle is now a successful lawyer in Boston, and she's engaged to Emmett, who is teaching a law class. As part of her wedding planning, Elle hires a detective to find the mother of her chihuahua, Bruiser, to invite her to the wedding. And it occurs to me now that I never even mentioned Bruiser in my review of the first movie, which seems kind of surprising. What's even more surprising to me in looking at that review, is that I also didn't mention Elle's best friends, Serena (Alanna Ubach) and Margot. Well, maybe their roles were a bit bigger in this movie, I dunno. I still don't quite know what to say about them, though. Anyway... the detective was understandably... oh, let's say skeptical... about this case. But he soon finds Bruiser's mom, though if this were practically any other movie, I would have to assume he just found a random chihuahua, told Elle it was the one she was looking for, and... whatever. In fact, it makes zero sense that this could be the right dog, particularly considering Elle is from Bel Air, so presumably Bruiser is also from thereabouts, so how the heck could his mom be from Boston? (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the detective did try to pass off a random dog as Bruiser's mom, and unbeknownst to him, she just happened, through some utterly unlikely stroke of fate, to be the right one. But before I get off on an Anastasia tangent, I'll just let it go.)

Anyway, the dog in question turns out to belong to a cosmetics testing lab. This prompts Elle to try to get the law firm she works for to sue for all the lab animals' release, but instead, she just gets fired. So, she decides to go to Washington, D.C., to try to get a bill (called "Bruiser's Bill") passed to ban animal testing for cosmetics. She immediately gets a job working for a Congresswoman named Victoria Rudd (Sally Field), who I guess was a former member of Elle's sorority, Delta Nu. The rest of Rudd's staff are immediately dismissive of Elle, except for a woman named Reena (Mary Lynn Rajskub), who's basically too shy to speak up for herself, let alone for Elle. But the person most obviously against Elle is Grace (Regina King). However, Elle ends up getting a lot of help from an unexpected source: Sid (Bob Newhart), the doorman at the fancy hotel where Elle is staying while in Washington. It turns out he knows a lot about politics, I guess because of all that he's overheard in his position over the past three decades. She also gets help from Serena, Margot, Paulette, most of Rudd's staff, and a ton of Delta Nus. (And eventually from Grace, because as I said, this is basically the same movie as the original, so someone had to have a Vivian-type role in the sequel.) I don't want to give away too much more of the plot, but of course Elle manages to overcome all odds to get a Congressional committee to vote on Bruiser's Bill. Because this is a wish-fulfillment kind of movie... and is there anyone who doesn't wish it were actually possible to get good things done in Washington? (Of course it helps that Elle lives just about the most ridiculously charmed life ever. But still.)

Well, I guess the movie has a sort of vaguely "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" vibe, and Elle even watches that movie with Emmett at one point. (Though I still haven't seen that movie, myself. I really gotta do that, someday.) And... I'm leaving out some subplots and various characters, I guess. But it's a fun and amusing movie, with a winking hint at the end of what might lie in Elle's future. (Honestly, I'd vote for her.) And I guess I don't know what else to say.

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