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BRIDGET JONES: EDGE OF REASON (R) (2004)

Universal

Official Site

Director: Beeban Kidron

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Cavendish

Written by: Helen Fielding, Adam Brooks, Richard Curtis

Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Jacinda Barrett, Gemma Jones

Rating:


Why does one go to see a serial, and what constitutes a satisfactory serial-viewing experience? I have to say, I pretty much enjoyed Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001). I’m a big Renee Zellweger fan, Cold Mountain notwithstanding, the male eye-candy was USDA prime, and thankfully, the book’s silliness translated intact. I’d held my breath over that one, too, hoping the filmmakers wouldn’t mess up a book that was such a hoot. Helen Fielding’s second book… not so much. Still, I was willing to venture out to see Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason solely on the basis of the three engaging main characters—Bridget Jones (Zellweger), Mark Darcy (Firth), and Daniel Cleaver (Grant).

I can honestly say that the film resembles the source novel; neither measures up to the maiden works. The second novel was tired and tiresome, and so is the second movie. Having gifted Bridget with an adoring, sexy man, Helen Fielding decided to snatch it all back, for no apparent reason other than to capitalize on the success of the first book. Having a boyfriend turns Bridget into a fuckwit. The plot consists of improbability heaped upon improbability. But then I remembered the subtitle—Edge Of Reason—and realized that it’s not meant to be in any way sensible or likely. It’s meant to describe Bridget’s increasingly crazed behavior. Using the flimsiest of devices to separate Bridget and Mark Darcy, the filmmakers then go one further with the tissue-paper device that reintroduces Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver. Plus, they tweak the Grant character—not content to have him be just a cad in sexual matters, he’s got to be an all-around jerk. With way sexy crinkles around his eyes.

You already know if you like this sort of thing. These are really the movies Doris Day would be making if she were a young working actress today. Kidron & Co. have gone out of their way to avoid filmic innovation here. There are heaping helpings of that peculiar British comedic pathology, humiliation humor; intrusive pop music punctuating “You go, girl!” moments; laughs (but you’ll feel cheap after); lots of awww moments for sugar; a bit of naughty sex talk for spice; a singing and dancing scene straight out of The Replacements (because hey, that’s what we women do when you get a bunch of us together, no matter where—we sing and dance); and Zellweger’s reliable gift for physical comedy.

The lead actors are all so charming and photogenic that they’d practically have to be projectile vomiting on-screen to actually be unwatchable, and they all managed to re-assume their characters from three years ago. The success of the first film boosted the music budget for this one, which has so many top-of-the-charts tunes that it feels at times more like a lifestyle ad than a story. I hope this is the end of the Jones series—I’d hate to see Bridget-the-daft-wife, Bridget-the-barmy-mum, etc.—unless we can somehow discover that Bridget is the granddaughter of Indiana.

—Roxanne Bogucka

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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