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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.23%
Worth A Look: 11.27%
Just Average: 14.08%
Pretty Crappy53.52%
Sucks: 16.9%

6 reviews, 35 user ratings

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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Slips over that fine line between the adorable and the psychotic"
2 stars

When we last saw Bridget Jones, the chain-smoking, body-conscious singleton heroine of Helen Fielding’s chick-lit best-seller, she had, against all odds, spurned the advances of her bad-boy boss/suitor Daniel Cleaver, scored a job as a TV journalist and wound up with the man of her dreams, the aloof-yet-hunky human-rights lawyer Mark Darcy. For a woman who had earlier consigned herself to a life of sitting in her apartment singing along with “All By Myself”, this was the ultimate happy ending. (although the more cynical types might have privately assumed that before too long, her endless twitting-about would eventually drive Mark to chop her into little pieces in the bathtub, content in the knowledge that no court would convict him). The only snag was that her story, really little more than a modern-day Jane Austen pastiche, ended so decisively in her favor that is posed a seemingly insurmountable problem for anyone hoping to continue her adventures (an inevitability, considering the millions of fans of both the book and 2001 film); once Bridget gets her fairy-tale finale, where can you possibly go from there to keep people interested?

It is an interesting narrative question but, alas, it is one that the makers of “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” have chosen to studiously avoid. Instead, they have slapped together a sloppy, woefully misguided piece of product that tries to cash in on the considerable appeal of the first film even as it lacks all of the things that the original such a pleasant surprise in the first place; it is shrill, charmless, wildly contrived and features a heroine whose odd personality quirks have finally slipped over that fine line that separate the adorable from the psychotic. Instead of the likable human comedy of the first film, this sequel plays more like an extended, Anglicized episode of one the Lucille Ball shows that weren’t “I Love Lucy”.

Part of the problem is that even the densest audience members will be able to guess that since Bridget (Renee Zellweger) and Mark (Colin Firth) are, despite their differences, so obviously perfect for each other, they will no doubt be together in blissful happiness by the end credits. Trouble is, they are that way from the opening credits as well, disastrous from a narrative point-of-view. A clever writer might have taken the opportunity to take a smart look at the kind of emotional psychosis that can occur when a sad sack inexplicably finds absolute happiness and they can’t quite believe their luck. Instead, director Beeban Kidron and a platoon of screenwriters (including Fielding herself) has chosen to take the easy way out-they break up Bridget and Mark early on for reasons bordering on the inexplicable and then proceed to tell virtually the same story all over again. Many of the gags are even the same-as in the first film, there is a sequence in which she inadvertently makes a fool over herself at a stuffy gala. That scene worked in the original because a.) we found ourselves genuinely rooting for her to triumph over adversity and b.) it was actually quite funny, especially the Salman Rushdie cameo. Here, the wit is all but absent and when we witness the ways in which she embarrasses herself, our sympathies wind up lying more with the justifiably appalled Mark instead of her.

The story also tries to replicate the romantic tension by bringing back Mark’s rival, the bounder Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), to once again woo Bridget. His character has all the earmarks of someone who has been uncomfortably shoehorned back into a tale (why would a book editor who once professed to hate television suddenly wind up as an on-air personality on the same show Bridget works on?) because to do so would take less effort than to come up with a new character. I suppose I shouldn’t complain, though, since Grant, despite his relatively brief appearance, is the best thing about the film; he knows how to deliver even the worst lines with a certain flair and the “I’m-just-doing-this-for-the-money” attitude that he displays is the one refreshingly human element in a story where everyone else acts like a sitcom character.

If the repetitions are annoying, they are nothing compared to the new twists thrown together in an attempt to keep our heroine busy until the inevitable climax. Some are to be expected-Bridget gets jealous with the attention Mark seems to be paying to a sexy, younger co-worker (Jacinda Barrett)-and some are slightly ridiculous-such as the slapsticky sequences where she, a novice skier, wildly hurtles down a mountain with all of the precision of a professional stuntwoman and when she skydives hinder-first into a pigpen. However, they are nothing compare to the utterly daft third-act shift in which our heroine inadvertently finds herself locked up in Thailand on a drug charge. I know that a certain number of obstacles need to be overcome before the happy ending but couldn’t Fielding have come up with something slightly more plausible than Bridget being threatened with doing a nickel in a Thai prison? Especially when the comedic payoff of the sequence seems to be nothing more than the sight of her teaching her fellow inmate the lyrics to “Like a Virgin”. (I suppose we can be grateful for the small favor that she didn’t choose a Kylie Minogue song instead.)

“Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” is a real mess-one of those unnecessary continuations that is bad enough to make you wonder what you ever saw in the original in the first place. There are a couple of funny things here and there (I liked a bit about Bridget’s loathsome mother and her current obsession with miniature food) but they wind up getting buried under a series of running gags that aren’t funny the first time and which grow progressively worse as things go on (a “joke” in which Bridget blurts out something embarrassing and then discovers that there is a large crowd behind her listening in is repeated endlessly) and even the usually charming Zellweger quickly grows monotonous. What is really surprising is that, with the exception of Kidron (replacing Sharon Maguire), this was made by the same people who made the original-based on the evidence here, it doesn’t even seem as if they had even seen it..

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11143&reviewer=389
originally posted: 11/22/04 23:12:43
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User Comments

8/17/12 edutra even worse than original 1 stars
4/05/12 SEAN DUTRA even worse and more pointless than original 1 stars
4/02/12 Carole Landis Please God no more Bridget Jones movies. 1 stars
3/06/11 Rita Ray Lizzy Bennet/hip, charming. Bridget Jones/vulgar slob. 'nuf said? 1 stars
2/21/10 carol miles CF doesn't want to be remembered as Mr. Darcy but makes B. Jones movies. Pompous Ass. 1 stars
7/11/09 the dork knight Forgettable sequel. Might as well rent "Arthur 2" while you're at it. 1 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. i thought it was really good and renee zellweger is still as adorable as ever! :P 4 stars
8/27/07 johnnyfog Worthless. 1 stars
8/20/06 e.c. i didnt like it better than the first but it was good.the fight scenes were funny. 4 stars
8/19/06 Beau wtf r u guyz sayin I LOVED IT betta than 1st. I laughed heaps 5 stars
7/07/06 CTT Not as good as the first, but not a disaster, either 4 stars
8/08/05 jada very disappointing, cheesy & predictable 2 stars
6/11/05 Daveman Doesn't so much move along as it progresses from second rate one comic set piece to another 2 stars
4/19/05 Taylor Fladgate Renee acts like she's pissed that she has to make this movie...and she should be 2 stars
3/25/05 Elizabeth S Bridget & Co. have lost their charm. 2 stars
3/09/05 Fake Name Here It ain't brain surgery folks. Must all movies be chock full o sturm und drang? 4 stars
1/16/05 Jitjit Skephzucks Starts better than original; then gets way too hokey with BROKEDOWN PALACE ripoff sequence. 3 stars
1/12/05 Hilary Adamson So sad that love is doomed even between those who know where each others' assholes are! 3 stars
12/21/04 Doc Hollywood Absolutely stinking shit with a cherry on top 1 stars
12/18/04 ELI well...i thought it was kinda funny... :) 4 stars
12/18/04 Lisa Totally crappy 1 stars
12/14/04 tony stupid movie.Only idioits will like it 1 stars
12/12/04 Bridget Hi my names also Bridget, I really enjoyed this movie film. It was funny, I love BRidget! 5 stars
12/12/04 UMER an OK movie in its own right but nothing compared to the first one 4 stars
12/09/04 peter møller jeg er til små drenge 5 stars
12/08/04 frosty Well, I enjoyed the first one... 2 stars
12/06/04 Dominic Liked the first, second was below par 2 stars
12/05/04 Kristina Williams A stupid retread of the first movie 1 stars
12/03/04 Denise why make another 2 stars
11/26/04 Destiny Pifer Wasn't bad though not as good as the first 3 stars
11/23/04 Jizzit Bones Arsery Number two is meant to be a poo so what did you expect? 1 stars
11/21/04 djacosta Enjoyable 4 stars
11/16/04 paks1 paks1 3 stars
11/15/04 Fungo Nowhere near as good as the first. 2 stars
11/05/04 Ray Nice 4 stars
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  12-Nov-2004 (R)
  DVD: 22-Mar-2005



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