Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
USA, 2003. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Marc Platt Productions, Type A Films. Story by Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake, Kate Kondell, Screenplay by Kate Kondell, based on characters created by Amanda Brown. Cinematography by Elliot Davis. Produced by David Nicksay, Marc Platt. Music by Rolfe Kent. Production Design by Missy Stewart. Costume Design by Sophie De Rakoff. Film Editing by Peter Teschner.
Like The Jewel Of The Nile, this is a dreadful sequel to a wonderful original, with Reese Witherspoon still a riot as perky, blonde Elle Woods but her surroundings much weaker. After having been fired from her law firm for trying to sue a company that uses animals (including her dog’s mother) for testing, Elle decides to take her show to Washington and get a bill passed that would protect furry little friends everywhere from harm. Her wardrobe raises eyebrows in that conservative town, but her friendly personality eventually wins everyone over, including a tough-as-nails senator (Sally Field) who only has her own political motivations at heart. While there are plenty of laughs to enjoy, the film mostly fails by losing what was best about the original, the idea that power can come from the most unexpected places. The Washington politicians are portrayed as such weak-minded, goofy idiots (what’s with the scene where they get teary over their childhood pets?) that they’re not really much of a challenge to our heroine; what made the first one so notable was that Harvard was convincingly recreated, making her success all the more satisfying (and funny), while as here the world she inhabits is just as much of a joke as she is. Points (or should I say “snaps!”) to Witherspoon for keeping our interest this long, but let’s hope that if they flog the dog and go for a third one it will be much better than this. The only highlight moment for me here is Field calling “Snaps” for fellow senator Dana Ivey (I don’t know if it’s worth sitting through the whole thing for this one joke, but it was a really funny joke).