MGM // 2009 // 85 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Adam Arseneau (Retired) // April 30th, 2009
This summer, go blonde! Twice?
Wow. Just wow. Films like this make me want to swear off cinema forever, shave my head, and move to a Tibetan monastery, where hopefully nobody has heard of the "direct to DVD" sequel.
Annabelle and Isabelle Woods (Camilla and Rebecca Rosso, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) are blonde, popular, and fashion-savvy. They love pink and love never paying full price for retail on designer clothes. When they decide to follow in the steps of their successful pink-loving cousin in America, they move to Beverly Hills and get scholarships at her old alma mater, Pacific Preparatory.
Once they arrive, they find things to be challenging. Ostracized by the popular rich girls, Annabelle and Isabelle soon find themselves struggling to assert their inner pink through a restrictive dress code, and...
You know what? @#$% this. I need a drink.
Somewhere, in some dark recess of Hollywood, screenwriters and producers dwell whose sole job is to take successful film franchises, strip them of all redeeming value, and then pump out ghastly direct-to-DVD sequels starring none of the original cast. These shadowy figures of cinema are real, and they feed off the tears of film critics.
Legally Blondes is based off the popular Reese Witherspoon-helmed franchise Legally Blonde, which in of itself had a popular sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Reese is (wisely) absolutely nowhere to be found in this film, but the plot tells us that she's off being a successful and fashionable lawyer/politician/whatever in Washington. Meanwhile, her two twin English cousins come over to America and stay in her fabulous pink mansion to attend the same prep school she attended. Just like their successful cousin, the two girls love pink, love obnoxiously small dogs, and want to become lawyers (scratch that, barristers) so they can use their legal prowess to -- wait for it -- never pay full price for designer clothes and negotiate down the salesmen. The two soon run afoul of the local clique of popular girls and the school administration, who know all about the trouble that Woods girls can cause, and try to frame them for crimes. Legal blonde power to the rescue! Sweet zombie Jesus, I swear I am not kidding.
What can I possibly say? If I had a shotgun, I would seriously consider throwing on some Kurt Cobain records and do some serious contemplating about my lot in life. Even my wife, who adores the color pink and has much loved copies of both Legally Blonde films on DVD made gagging and retching noises while watching Legally Blondes, and after fifteen minutes had left the room. Hollywood producers, take note: if you can't make my wife happy with a sequel like this, then you stand no chance elsewhere. Her word is the law. Or is that just in my house?
In every measurable way, Legally Blondes represents cinema at its lowest form. This is recycling of twice-recycled content, minus the celebrity star power, times two by the twin factor, and that's some kind of freaky mathematics I can't get behind. The end result is catastrophically bad; a frenetic mishmash of cutesy teenage girl clichés, pink and obnoxious plot points that make me insulted for pre-teenage girls the world over. The girls, who act rich, are publicly ostracized for being only sort-of rich, but still pound home the lesson that it's the appearance of glamour and success that matters in life. Somewhere, some parent will show their children this film, and the child will love it. In ten years, the children will be in therapy because of the damage such films have done to their tender psyche. You think I'm joking? I'll be laughing down here in my bomb shelter with my tinfoil hat.
As for technical specs, MGM felt fit to send us a screener copy, so our review may not represent the final retail product. It's just as well. Our copy looks awful, with terribly compressed and distorted visuals. Audio comes in a 5.1 surround sound presentation with optional English subtitles, which is the only (moderately) redeeming quality of the presentation. Dialogue is clear and the music (god help me, just as obnoxious as the rest of the film) is punchy and well-realized.
Extras we received included three featurettes interviewing cast and crew about the making of Legally Blondes, which is a special kind of sadistic torture for especially naughty children, as well as some hellish device called the "Pacific Preparatory Yearbook," which crashed my DVD player.
What makes Legally Blondes particularly onerous is that Reese Witherspoon herself is listed as a producer on this atrocity. I hope she enjoys that Oscar in hell.
Okay, maybe a bit harsh. At least Hell, Michigan, then.
Utter, utter trash. If you even pick up this DVD, be it in a retail or rental store, I will spend my remaining days cursing you -- and I've still got a lot of life left in these old bones.
Is "cinematic abortion" a legally binding verdict? It is now. I just binded it.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
* Official Site