Reese Witherspoon is charming and fun in Legally Blonde 2: Red White And Blonde, but is let down by an inept script and heavy-handed direction that gets her to deliver impassioned speeches.
As a result, Witherspoon never fails to wear her good intentions on her sleeve.
Given the star's ascending popularity and a few heart-warming performances, particularly by Bob Newheart, the sequel to the 2001 summer hit cannot be a loser.
But like many of the sequels on show now, this one too feels like a letdown. Which is not to say the first was a classic.
Legally Blonde 2 is a notch better than many sitcoms. A few minutes into the film and you realise much of its attitude has been cynically recycled.
Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld has certainly watched Frank Capra films. There is a scene in which Elle (Witherspoon) even watches Capra's Mr Smith Goes to Washington. But Witherspoon is not James Stewart. And though Capra too was accused of sentimentality, his films seemed genuine and passionate.
The pink-loving Harvard Law School graduate Elle Woods wants to use her legal and fashion savvy to get a pro-animal bill passed by the Congress. Arriving at Watergate and not knowing where to begin, she befriends elderly doorman Sidney (Bob Newhart), who becomes her guide to the political system. Elle is so involved in her new passion that she wants to postpone her marriage to Emmett (Luke Wilson).
As aide to Congresswoman Rudd (Sally Field), also a Harvard Law School alumnus, Elle wants Rudd to push through Bruiser's Bill, banning the testing of cosmetics on animals. She uses her knowledge of dogs and her sorority ties to earn the support of a couple of influential lawmakers.
Nothing in Washington is easy, which means Elle has to work harder and make more speeches.
Wilson, who has little to do in the movie, seems to be lost in the din. It reminds one of his role in another sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, where again he was a misfit.
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Bob Newhart, Luke Wilson, Regina King
Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Screenplay: Eve Ahlert, Dennis Drake, Kate Kondell, Amanda Brown