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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 Brad Wilber

"No reason at all for BRIDGET JONES 3"
2 stars

Sitting through BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON required much the same resolve as sticking out four seasons of “Felicity” on the WB: I’d forged some kind of bond with a relatable heroine in the early going, and by God, I was going to see how things ended up no matter how often said heroine ricocheted dizzily between men, mangled her priorities, or indulged in fraught interior monologue.

“Felicity” found itself a target for mockery, even by series loyalists like me, when it was still cranking out first-run episodes. The acting talent carried the show a long way, but in order to keep up a continuous flow of angst, the powers-that-be made the characters display behavior that left you second-guessing your allegiance to them.

This Bridget Jones sequel labors under similar impediments. The movie picks up a few weeks after the end of BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY and its final clinch between Miss Jones (Renee Zellweger) and boyfriend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Bridget asks herself: “Once you’ve found true love, how do you make it last forever?” A story about the maintenance of the status quo would seem to want for wattage from the get-go, and unfortunately, the creators’ solution for conflict is to have Bridget become an unappealing lump of jealousy, pugnacity, and neurosis. She sabotages her own relationship and puts herself in the position of having to shore up the resulting wreckage.

I can hear you saying, "Didn't she do some of that in the first film?" You're right, of course, but I simply found more things to like about the girl in 2001—the pleasingly plump and chronically hopeful “singleton” (author Helen Fielding’s coinage), the beleaguered but ambitious peon of the publishing industry, the daughter and friend who can be relied on for a few innocent gaffes but also surprising moments of sass and pluck. She seemed resourceful; the new Bridget seems merely resentful.

Plus, by giving Bridget a steady boyfriend and minor celebrity status as a permanent television personality, Fielding and the film threaten to alienate their built-in audience. Bridget’s situation now smacks of the life of the Arrived, rather than the life of the Aspirant, and the fact that she has not only achieved it but seems bent on ruining it all makes her harder to root for. Slapstick moments that went for laughs in the first film are now truly cringe-worthy scenarios Bridget brings on herself by letting pride and insecurity overrun all her higher feelings. This usually involves: a) eavesdropping or spying; b) picking fights; and c) choosing bad outfits.

Bridget’s caldron of suspicion starts bubbling when the willowy Rebecca (MTV “Real World” alumna Jacinda Barrett), an attorney at Mark Darcy’s law firm, begins angling for Mark's attention in both professional and personal settings. She's popping up everywhere. Her ubiquity soon has Bridget and Mark on the outs, and Bridget is blundering toward the libidinous web of her former boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). Again, if Bridget is supposed to be the poster child for wistful spinsterhood, how come she faces the annoyingly A-list dilemma of having two people infatuated with her? More to the point, why should even one person be eager for intimacy with her? (In this movie, there is even a third earnest suitor, and Bridget manages to scrape together a little bit of humility and grace for a compassionate kiss-off). Shades of “Felicity” again, where indecision in the Ben vs. Noel conundrum reached Shakespearean heights. No, Darcy and Cleaver are by no means the equal princes that Ben and Noel were, but still…..

And in much the same way that the “Felicity” series struck an incongruous final note with a five-week epilogue featuring brain fever and time travel, EDGE OF REASON bogs down in its second half with Bridget getting into very real legal trouble on a trip to Thailand. There are no viable opportunities for humor here, but it must play out, since the consequences allow Mark to come to the rescue and Daniel to be done in once again by his own self-absorption. The sad part is that for a big portion of this film, Bridget seems more like Daniel than even Daniel himself, so Renee Zellweger must work very hard to make us care at all.

Zellweger scores some minor successes, although the performance can’t help but take on some of the perfunctory nature of the material. Hugh Grant looks and sounds suitably jaunty and dissipated, but he doesn’t show us anything new or subtle. Colin Firth must get quite a kick out of the fact that Helen Fielding found inspiration for her Mark Darcy in Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of "Pride and Prejudice" fame. He’s played both, and though he was exquisitely saturnine in the 1995 BBC Austen adaptation, he gets no help here trying to engineer a contemporary spin on the same character—i.e. how to incorporate elements of the smitten (text-messaging love notes, trading pillow talk) into Mark’s basic stoicism. Once again in the sequel the gifts of Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones, and Shirley Henderson are all but wasted; I was hoping the movie would attempt some of the diverting subplots of the novel so that all these actors would have gotten more screen time. Co-writer Richard Curtis knows how to handle multiple story lines, particularly after LOVE ACTUALLY, so…what gives?

I haven’t bought any “Felicity” season on DVD, since I would probably have even less patience with it revisiting it in my thirties than I did watching it in my twenties. THE EDGE OF REASON will not be on my purchase list, either.

If we’re lucky, the Bridget Jones franchise will leave well enough alone and I’ll never again have to hear her say “Dear Diary” or “I am a serious journalist!”

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11143&reviewer=395
originally posted: 12/08/04 21:04:00
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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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