Based on all the media-hewn backslapping over Reese Witherspoon's first shot at a leading lady role, you'd think "Legally Blonde" was a modern Billy Wilder comedy with the latest rendition of Marilyn Monroe in front of the camera. Instead this weak and predictable comedy, by debut feature director Robert Luketic, is a poorly lit attempt at dredging humor from a sterile and flat script. While Witherspoon makes an attractive ditzy blonde with enough book-smarts to overcompensate for her character's fashion victim obsessions, her talents are dissipated in a movie that chases its own tail. Following Witherspoon's cruelly good performances in movies like "Freeway" and "Election," "Legally Blonde" is a career misstep for a talented actress capable of creating much more complex characters.
Rated PG-13. 97 mins. (C) (Two Stars)
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