Luke Wilson must have a thing for blondes—from romancing Reese in Legally Blonde to trying to make time with ambitious Jessica Simpson in Blonde Ambition, he’s always the scruffy, sheepish, downright puppy-eyed cutie whose eyes are on the golden haired prize. A smash box office hit in Ukraine that’s outdone the exceptional yet admittedly depressive American exports of No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and others, Blonde bombed so monumentally here in the U.S. even in Wilson and Simpson’s home state of Texas that it ended up making its national premiere at video stores near you. With Simpson’s weak performances in past films and its failure here in the states, I was expecting to hate it but was actually surprised that it wasn’t as horrible as one would think and I even caught myself laughing more than I would have guessed.
Similar to the Paltrow vehicle View From the Top that seems like a film out of time and one that would’ve faired better in the 60’s, this dimwitted yet unceasingly sunny offering finds country bumpkin Katie Gregerstich (Simpson playing a character whose name alone will make you laugh) leaving her general store running Pap Paw (Willie Nelson) to visit her boyfriend in the Big Apple, only to discover that the hand modeling hottie (Drew Fuller) is as deceitful and conceited as he is attractive when another woman creeps out from under his bed’s covers. After gathering herself and going to stay with her aspiring actress cousin Haley (Rachael Leigh Cook who’s the best part of the film), Katie is manipulated by a power hungry construction vice president (Penelope Ann Miller) and her goofy sycophant (Andy Dick who also costarred in Simpson’s Employee of the Month) when she gains employment as the administrative assistant to company president Richard Connelly (Larry Miller). Although the unsuspecting Gregerstich is sabotaged at every turn in amusing ways that range from Miller and Dick getting kids hopped up on Rock Star energy drinks and sending stripper cops to a children’s birthday party complete with a firecracker spewing piñata to trying to form a bad impression on Norwegian priests who instead get a kick out of Katie and go bar hopping with beer and karaoke, she mostly succeeds in her goal and becomes the recipient of a flirtation from courier Ben (Luke Wilson).
However, some of the film’s juvenile humor, not to mention the poor acting skills of Simpson that seem to be exacerbated by the frequent usage of close-ups and distractingly tarty makeup of garish red lipstick and electric blue eyeshadow that accentuate her freakishly Aquafresh whitened teeth (which becomes a joke throughout the film) calls far too much attention to itself and less time should’ve been spent on Simpson’s looks to carry the film and more on keeping things light and fun. Director Scott Marshall, who is the son of Garry Marshall with whom he’d worked as an assistant director on several films casts his aunt Penny Marshall in a tiny cameo near the end. While it won't be nearly as popular here as in Ukraine, Simpson's film will appeal strongly to her fan base and may even surprise a few viewers like myself, who don't even come close to falling into that category. Of course, it will also do well with men like Luke Wilson who may soon need a twelve step program for blondes!