Archive for Elle Woods

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) wants her Chihuahua, Bruiser, to reunite with his mother, because she would like Bruiser’s mother to attend her wedding. Elle hires a detective to find Bruiser’s mother, only to discover that the company that has her dog’s mother is a cosmetics company that uses Bruiser’s mother for cosmetic testing. She finds out that her law firm represents the C’est Magnifique Corporation, and at her annual review proposes to law firm management that the firm encourage C’est Magnifique to stop animal testing. Elle argues that the animal testing is unjust, and as a result, she is fired from her law firm.

Elle decides to leave Boston, where she had settled with her fiancé, and move to Washington, DC. Elle is so upset that her dog’s mother is in a make-up testing laboratory, that she decides to take it upon herself to have a “voice for those who can’t speak”, and to outlaw animal testing.

While working for Congresswoman Victoria Rudd (Sally Field), Elle is met with skepticism and other barriers common to Washington politics. One of her new co-workers remarks that she is “Capitol Barbie!”, (there has even been a Barbie doll based on Elle Woods). After a variety of ups and downs including a failed attempt to improve her work environment by having her co-workers write compliments about one another and place them in the “snap cup”, Elle starts to lose her faith in Washington politics.

As the story moves along, Elle discovers that Bruiser is actually gay, after she is paged by “The Paws that Refreshes: A Doggy Day Spa.” Bruiser has been affectionate with Leslie, a Rottweiller owned by Representative Stan Marks (Bruce McGill). Elle also finds that Congresswoman Libby Hauser (Dana Ivey) was a member of Delta Nu (the sorority from the first film). As a result, Hauser warms to Elle and eventually comes to support Bruiser’s Bill.

Elle also discovers that Congresswoman Rudd has been working against her. Rudd has been doing so in an effort to satisfy the interests of a major campaign donor named “Bob” (who is never seen, but with whom Rudd has several telephone conversations). However, Rudd is eventually blackmailed into supporting Elle’s discharge petition, because Rudd’s Chief of Staff, Grace Rossiter (Regina King) eavesdrops on a recorded conversation during which Rudd admits to Elle that she has been working against Bruiser’s Bill in order to help Rudd’s sponsors who want to continue with tests on animals. Grace and Elle eventually reach a place of mutual respect, even though Grace openly dislikes Elle.

Elle’s discharge petition is successful, and Bruiser’s Bill is brought to the floor of the House. Elle gets married in a park in D.C., albeit not at Fenway Park as she had planned, but standing on the home plate which has been delivered to D.C. by the UPS Guy (Bruce Thomas). In the final scene of the movie, when Emmett asks where to live, Elle says, “Oh, I think I know just the place,” as they are driving by the White House.

REVIEW:

As good as the first Legally Blonde was, you would think a studio would know better than to attempt to recapture the magic with a sequel, but that was not the case with this film.

Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, and Jennifer Coolidge reprise their roles from the first film and are the heart and soul of the film.

Sally Field is a great actress without question, but this is a role that is beneath her. My guess is that she took it as a favor to someone, or just wanted to have fun being a Congresswoman. Whatever the case, her talent is wasted in this role.

Regina King can’t seem to play anything but tough roles. Even Huey and Riley, the characters she voices on The Boondocks, seem to be tough. I’m not sitting here saying she’s bad in this type of role, just a bit predictable, and it takes away from the enjoyment.

I don’t want anyone to think that this is a bad film, because it isn’t, but it doesn’t stack up to the original. That’s really sad when you consider this film has such potential, but sequels are a crap shoot. They either end up being really good, or really bad. This one leans more towards the latter.

Still, it isn’t a film to avoid like the plague. It is quite enjoyable, even if you haven’t seen the first film. There are plenty of funny moments to keep everyone entertained, and if you can get around the holes in the plot, you should really enjoy it.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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Legally Blonde

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is portrayed as the typical pampered rich girl, growing up in Bel Air, across the street from Aaron Spelling. She is president of her sorority, Delta Nu, at the fictitious CULA, the California University of Los Angeles. Nearing graduation, Elle expects her Harvard Law School-bound boyfriend, Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis), to propose, but he instead breaks up with her, insisting that she is not “serious” and would hinder his political future. Elle later finds out that Warner’s brother, Putnam Bowes Huntington III, is marrying Muffy Walker Vanderbilt, also a Yale law student. Crushed, Elle decides the only way to way to win Warner back is to attend Harvard Law School. With an exceptional LSAT score (179), a 4.0 GPA (albeit achieved as a fashion merchandising major), and a confident application video featuring her in a bikini, Elle’s application materials manage to convince the admissions board to grant her admission.

At Harvard, Elle is initially met with hostility and skepticism of her abilities, and she finds Warner is already engaged to fellow law student Vivian Kensington (Selma Blair). Vivian reluctantly invites Elle to a party, but tells her it is a costume party (which it is not) to humiliate her. Though she shows up dressed as a Playboy bunny, Elle is unfazed. She confronts Warner and finds that his perception of her is unaffected by her accomplishments.

Spurred by his dismissive remarks, Elle immerses herself in her studies and becomes a top student in her class. She still finds it hard to be taken seriously, although Emmett Richmond (Luke Wilson), the trial assistant of Callahan (Victor Garber), one of Elle’s professors, is friendly to her and recognizes her potential. She also forms a bond with hair stylist Paulette, who has recently been through a divorce, giving Paulette advice on attracting the attention of the postage guy she is interested in and also using her legal knowledge to allow Paulette to regain custody of her dog from her ex-husband.

Along with Warner and Vivian, Elle is hired as an intern at Callahan’s firm. They are assigned the case of defending a young woman, Brooke Taylor Windham (Ali Larter), accused of murdering her wealthy husband. Windham is coincidentally a former member of Elle’s sorority and a famous fitness instructor, facts that convince Elle of her innocence (Her reasoning being that exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, so happy people don’t shoot their husbands). Her stepdaughter and the household’s “cabana boy” Enrique Salvatore (Greg Serano) attest to finding Windham standing over her husband’s dead body, Enrique even claiming to have had an affair with her.

After Windham refuses Callahan’s request for an alibi, Elle visits her in jail where she confides that she was having liposuction at the time of her husband’s death. Worried that this would destroy her reputation as a fitness guru, she asks that Elle keep the alibi secret. Elle complies despite pressure from Callahan. Vivian is extremely impressed that Elle kept the alibi, and the two start to become friends, Vivian even admiting that Warner only got into Harvard because his father pulled some strings.

Elle has more and more success with her trial, using her knowledge of the fashion world and intuition to help her move closer to winning the trial, most notably when deducing that Enrique is gay after he correctly identifies her shoe style; straight men have no clue about fashion. Callahan has a private discussion with Elle after a session. To her disgust, he reveals he finds her attractive and begins to caress her thigh. Elle angrily storms out, is met by Vivian, who witnessed Callahan touching Elle’s leg, and lashes out at her. Convinced that she will never be taken seriously, Elle decides to quit and return to California. Emmett attempts to encourage her, but Elle’s spirits are still crushed and she retreats to the salon to bid farewell to Paulette the hairstylist, who has become her friend. At the salon she encounters another of her teachers, Professor Stromwell, who further encourages her, saying “If you’re going to let one stupid pig ruin your life, you’re not the girl I thought you were”. With her confidence returned, Elle decides to return to court. Windham fires Callahan and hires Elle as her new attorney (with Emmett, who is a licensed attorney, supervising).

During her cross-examination, the victim’s daughter, Chutney Windham (Linda Cardellini), claims to have been taking a shower at the time of the murder, but Elle argues that having had her hair permed that day, a shower would have deactivated the ammonium thioglycolate and would have ruined her curls, which are nevertheless still intact. Badgered by Elle’s aggressive questioning, the daughter finally breaks down in tears and confesses to accidentally shooting her father, believing he was her stepmother, whom she resented for being the same age as she. With this, she is arrested and Brooke is cleared of all charges.

The end of the film shows that Elle graduated from Harvard as the class-elected speaker of her graduate class with high honors, and she has been recommended to one of the country’s most successful law firms. Now Elle’s best friend, Vivian has called off her engagement to Warner, who graduates with no honors or any prestigious job offers. Paulette is now the postage guy’s girlfriend, and they are expecting a baby which they will name Elle. Emmett, now Elle’s boyfriend of two years, is revealed to be planning to propose to Elle the night of the graduation.

REVIEW:

Normally a film with all this pink would turn me off automatically. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this picture.

Reese Witherspoon really came into her own with this role. She is the perfect choice for the role because of her innocent beauty and acting skills…too bad her Broadway counterparts don’t stack up as well.

Luke Wilson is a little underused here, at least until the end, but when he does have the chance to steal some screen time, he makes the most of it.

Victor Garber always seems to be playing a lawyer. In just about everything I’ve seen him in, excluding Titanic, Cinderella, and the recent TV movie The Last Templar, he’s been a lawyer. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that. Just making an observation.

Jennifer Coolidge is quite welcome when she is introduced to the audience and endears herself to us as the film goes on, especially after her failed bend and snap knocks out her dream UPS guy and breaks his nose.

This is a very enjoyable film. When I first heard about it, I assumed it was some sort of romantic comedy, but I was wrong. Granted, its not the oddball comedy that I tend to go for, but it is pretty funny and has something for everyone.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars