BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE
Universal Pictures, November 2004
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
BRIDGET JONES II is based on the best-selling novel by Helen Fielding. Ms. Fielding's sequel explores Bridget's (Renee Zellweger) romantic journey into "what happens after the happy ending?"
This sequel finds the insecure and independent-minded Bridget enjoying a "glorious" six week affair with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Bridget is working as a star television reporter and things seem to be getting serious with Darcy, a distinguished civil rights attorney. But Bridget's self doubts and her penchant for screwing things up soon start to surface. When Bridget accepts Darcy's invitation to a mini skiing holiday and assures him she is an excellent skier her troubles begin.
Darcy's attractive legal assistant Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett) shows up on the ski slopes, a coincidence that makes Bridget jealous and causes her neuroses to emerge. After a disastrous day on the slopes, Bridget, fearing she may be pregnant, pushes Darcy towards marriage, while at the same time, criticizing his potential parenting skills. This leads to a big misunderstanding and a breakup. While Bridget is waiting for Darcy to discover he cannot live without her, she is sent on a travel assignment to Thailand with Darcy's old nemesis, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).
Though Daniel tries his best to seduce Bridget she cannot move on until she is sure there is no chance for happiness with Darcy. But on her way home, she is caught smuggling a coke laced fertility bowl through customs, one she was carrying for a friend. Now locked up in a Thai prison, everything seems hopeless, until Darcy shows up and begins pulling strings to get her freed.
THE EDGE OF REASON is filled with dozens of silly, slapstick moments featuring Bridget at her worst. The first movie, BRIDGET JONES DIARY, was wickedly funny and well played, but the sequel is so crudely embarrassing, Bridget's antics made me cringe. I hate to say it, I wanted to like this movie, but this film was poorly done. Bridget and Darcy's motivations are confusing and their actions inconsistent in a way that never make sense.
Written by the same screenwriting team who produced the first film, novelist Helen Fielding, Richard Curtis (Love Actually), Adam Brooks and Andrew Davies make this version seem like a pathetic copy. There is a big misunderstanding, Bridget does some incredibly stupid and embarrassing things and then there is a big fight scene between Cleaver and Darcy. Same song, second stanza, but the sparkle and appeal is missing. Renee Zellweger won her first Oscar nomination for BRIDGET JONES DIARY, but something went horribly wrong in THE EDGE OF REASON. Zellweger's role did not flatter this lovely young actress in any way and the charm of her original performance is lacking.
There are a few good laughs but overall I did not enjoy seeing Bridget embarrass herself over and over again. However there is a wedding in the end -- Bridget's parents (Gemma Jones and Jim Broadbent) renew their wedding vows in an awful lavender production that made me laugh. (Rated R for language and sexual content, Running time: 108 minutes)
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