A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde is a 2003 sequel in which a blonde sorority girl who found a way to succeed while attending Harvard Law School now must find a way to make it on Capitol Hill. This movie has some sexual references, including a plot development involving gay dogs. While the movie is a comedy and ostensibly celebrates being true to who you are, there's also an element of both mockery of the "ditzy blonde" stereotype as well as the unnecessary social message, "Attractive and materialistic sorority rich white girls with blonde hair who grew up in Bel Air are people too!" Also, it could be interesting for some families to see how far our society has come in how homosexuality is regarded now compared to 2003, when it was still a punchline to have politicians and the media make a big deal about how two dogs are gay. Furthermore, the issue of animal testing in labs for cosmetics companies could have been addressed with a little more depth without sacrificing the overall comedy feel of the movie. Profanity includes "kickass," "ass," "crap," "damn," and "hell." Reference made to a dog "turning tricks" on a Hollywood street corner to survive -- paired with the image of a dog standing behind a street corner card game. Oral sex insinuation. A cover of Maxim magazine, covering the lead character's crusade to stop lab testing on dogs, has the headline, "Doing it doggie style."
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What's the story?
Elle (Reese Witherspoon) hires a detective to find the biological mother of her dog, Bruiser, so she can invite Bruiser's family to her wedding. She finds out that his mother is in a lab for testing cosmetics on animals. When she urges her law firm to oppose the use of animal-testing in cosmetics (the movie is careful to stay away from the issue of animal testing for medication), she is fired. So, Elle heads to Washington determined to get legislation passed ("Bruiser's Law"), freeing Bruiser's mother and all of the other lab animals.
Is it any good?
Witherspoon is still enchanting, but LEGALLY BLONDE 2 suffers from sequel-itis. That happens when the movie studio wants badly to repeat the success of an original, but the happily-ever-after ending of the first one leaves very little room for further developments, so they just repeat it. In this case, that even means repeating some of the same jokes. In the first movie, sorority president Elle Woods discovered that she had a brain. The fun of the movie for the audience was having our cupcake and respecting her, too, which was possible because we got to enjoy her adorable bubble-headed (but sweet-natured) reaction to very serious Harvard Law School and then see her triumph by being both nicer and smarter than anyone else. That triumph included professional and romantic happy endings. Now what?
Well, this movie starts by taking some of that happiness away from her, which is okay, but it also takes away some of the character development, too, leaving Elle an inconsistent and ultimately uncomfortable combination of silly and smart. It's really more of a series of skits than a story, but as long as you don't care whether it goes anywhere, some of the skits are cute enough, thanks to Witherspoon's precision timing and ravishing smile. The movie makes the most of Witherspoon's talents, but wastes the considerable potential of Sally Field, Bob Newhart, Dana Ivey, and Regina King.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Elle change her mind about her final speech and how a bill becomes a law (the movie has the details right on the hopper and the discharge petition).
Why are movie sequels almost always worse than the original movie? Why do movie studios make sequels anyway?
What are the ways in which the movie addresses issues like materialism, animal testing, homosexuality, stereotyping, and the political process?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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