In keeping with this summer’s sequel mania, “Legally Blonde 2” got two New York bows, one in Southampton Saturday night and another in Gotham Monday. Each reflected its environment, from clothes — the South Fork crowd looked like a Ralph Lauren ad; in Gotham it was Jimmy Choos and black cocktail dresses — to laughter.
Comparing the two auds’ reactions to the pic, thesp Jennifer Coolidge chuckled through clenched teeth and said, “The laughing in Southampton is like this.” She relaxed her mouth. “Here it’s more ah-ha-ha.” The wise-cracking diva — cast again as the campy beautician — held forth from her table at Christie’s during the Gotham post-screening party.
Pic’s producer Marc Platt further dissected the geographic subtleties of laughter. “There’s a difference between the East Coast and the West Coast. A lot of people got more of the thinking humor here,” he said. Platt did not specify what passed as thinking humor in the frothy flick, however.
At both New York bows Reese Witherspoon, accompanied by hubby Ryan Phillippe, was met by adoring pre-teen fans intent on an autograph from the perky blonde, which she granted them. Older fans were less lucky — in Gotham Witherspoon turned in early after the film. “She’s pregnant. She has to wake up early,” a publicist explained.
Revelers without such curfews included Sally Field, Luke Wilson, LeAnn Rimes, Regina King, MGM vice-chairman and chief operating officer Chris McGurk and helmer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, whose cream suit stood out in the sea of black.
L.A. bow the following night was much lighter on the star factor — Field and co-star Bruce McGill represented the absent Witherspoon in Westwood — but still plenty lavish. In a paean to pic’s giddy consumerism, Hammer Museum soiree featured food stations dressed up as designer boutiques for Tiffany’s, Jimmy Choos and Paul Frank, plus a beauty salon offering hair styling and makeup.
Departing preemgoers received a groaning gift bag with freebies heavily weighted toward pic’s femme demo — much scented lotion and hair accoutrements, with a token packet of styling clay for men tossed in next to a handful of dog biscuits as props to pic’s smartly dressed Chihuahua.
“I can’t wait to see what’s inside my bag,” a delighted partygoer called out to a fellow reveler before hopping into her car.
(Diane Garrett in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)