Superabundant amusement at a price

This sequel to Legally Blonde is quite possibly even funnier than the original. Like most sequels, it does suffer from having to justify its own existence. Given the original film, I can't imagine putting together the basic building blocks any better than has been done here.

Elle's principles are put to the test when she finds out that Bruiser's mom (that's her Chihuahua) is used in animal testing for cosmetics. She finds that, even as the newest star lawyer at her firm, she cannot stay there as they represent that testing company and are invested in the idea of making a buck. So, she high-tails to Washington to work the issue on behalf of a fellow Delta Nu, who also happens to be a senator (Sally Field). We again have the strange-but-effective fish-out-of-water sequences as people misjudge Elle's positive attitude and feminine beauty stereotypes. And along the way, we again meet most of Elle's friends from the first movie. Occasionally this feels forced, but it's hardly important - the movie is all about the laughs inherent from Elle's character, and these are delivered with lightning efficiency.

My biggest issue relates to character - I'll be as vague as I can, but this may be a spoiler for some of you. Elle is presented as a very smart, very principled, and very idealized person. She would never stoop to doing anything remotely unethical to further her cause. But someone does so on her behalf with Elle's actual knowledge. She neither questions nor refuses this aid. Now, a deep discussion of ends versus means seems likely out of place in this film, so I understand the motivation to gloss over this facet, but why leave in something questionable like this? As I think about what may have happened at the studio, I don't know what's more disturbing - whether they never considered the question of these ethics, or if they merely concluded the public either wouldn't care or wouldn't notice. Inconsistent morals are one thing, and do figure into many a compelling story, but this leaves Elle an imperfect paragon of virtue, which - to me at least - seriously undermines the film.

So, maybe you'll see this inconsistancy, or not, and maybe you'll care, or not. I think the film is still quite enjoyable, and worth seeing, but it seems to me the discussion not seen on the screen calls for it to occur off the screen. See the movie - then talk about it.

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