A charismatic young star battling political corruption in America makes for irresistible entertainment in the warm, funny, uplifting comedy "Mr Smith Goes to Washington"
Unfortunately, including a clip of Frank Capra's classic in "Legally Blonde 2" just highlights what a dull, lacklustre, obnoxiously stupid sequel this is.
Before diehard Reese Witherspoon fans start sharpening their nail files and powdering people to death, it's worth mentioning the merits of the original.
Funny and sweet, it was a fine romantic comedy carried through its sagging spots by a standout turn from Ms Witherspoon as Elle Woods - a warm, fuzzy and fashionable student whose dizzy veneer masked a sharp mind: an iron fist in a pink velvet glove.
The sequel takes Elle's newly qualified lawyer to Washington, and sees the filmmakers (both writer and director are new to the character) keep her superficial shell and bin the brains and charm.
The principal problem is the premise. Elle's about to marry Emmett (Luke Wilson) and she wants to invite her dog's mother - yes, her dog's mother - to the wedding.
When she discovers that said hound is in an animal testing lab, she teams with fellow Harvard alumnus Senator Victoria Rudd (Sally Field) to make such tests illegal.
Even if you can get over the inherent idiocy of the idea - which changes the heroine from kook to cretin - there's a paucity of laughs to be had either at or with her.
She's changed into a pitiable figure. Once sparky and spunky, now sulky and weak, she's easily discouraged and reliant on an older, wiser, man - Bob Newhart's doorkeeper - for advice.
Other women fare no better. The way to a female politician is through haircuts and lipgloss, and Elle's dumb friends win senators' support by cavorting semi-clothed in an excruciatingly embarrassing cheerleading scene.
The only thing the movie really shares with "Mr Smith..," is its naivety, but whereas the Jimmy Stewart vehicle felt impassioned and hopeful, this is bland and contemptuously complacent.