Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jonathan
Written by: Helen Fielding, Adam Brooks,
Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh
Grant, Jim Broadbent, Jacinda Barrett, Gemma Jones
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.
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...