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Bridget Jones - Edge Of Reason

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Judy Thorburn

No Reason To See Disappointing "Bridget Jones - Edge Of Reason"

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NO REASON TO SEE DISAPPOINTING “BRIDGET JONES – EDGE OF REASON”

I am so sick and tired of seeing sequels that don’t live up to the quality of the original, the latest example being Bridget Jones Diaries.   You can just add this film to the list of movies whose follow up turned out to be, plainly speaking, in one word – bad.  If the writers can’t come up with something worthwhile, then I just wish they would leave well enough alone. However, I am surprised that Renee Zellwegger returned for the Edge of Reason, a title you KNOW I will get to later.

Renee’s been a Hollywood darling since her breakout role as Tom Cruise’ love interest in Jerry MaGuire, and went on to surprising everyone with her versatility as an actress.  Singing and dancing her way through an Oscar nominated role in Chicago and an Academy award winning dramatic performance in Cold Mountain has put her on the A list of movie stars.  But, my question is, Renee, didn’t you read the script for the Bridget Jones follow up?  Maybe it looked better on paper.  Or, was a big fat paycheck the crucial factor in reprising your role as Bridget Jones?  After all, once again, you had to add over thirty pounds to your reed thin body. I don’t know why, but in the first movie the weight gain was distributed evenly, and you looked healthy, a far cry from fat. What happened this time?  Somehow for this film, the packed on pounds look like they settled in only three areas - Renee’s stomach, boobs and face.  She looks puffy faced and bloated, not attractive at all.  Add the bad makeup, horrendous hair, and it is not easy to believe that two gorgeous men would vie for her attention, much less fight over her.

The first Bridget Jones Diaries had a nice and tidy, happy ending that really didn’t need a sequel.  Zoftig Bridget wound up being with the right man who loved her just the way she was. So, why indulge us in a lackluster follow up that doesn’t offer anything new or, for that matter, come close to the original in either charm or wit. The best you can expect is a continuous series of less than funny set ups causing Bridget to be either embarrassed or making a total fool of herself.  For the opening sequence Bridget skydives, landing face first into a mud filled pigpen, and the camera zooms in on her butt. Later she finds herself in an out of control, but not very funny, skiing sequence, making a few risqué phone calls to Mark’s office that are overheard by others on his speakerphone, and, oh yes, getting drenched from head to toe in the rain by a passing bus.

This sequel finds TV journalist Bridget breaking up with human rights lawyer, Mark Darcy (a bored looking Colin Firth), just six weeks into their relationship and seventy-one ecstatic shags later. Sex couldn’t be better, but Bridget begins to question their compatibility when her insecurity, self-consciousness, and jealously take hold.  When Bridget and Mark are seated far apart at an elite dinner affair, and a beautiful, thin colleague named Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett, splendid in Ladder 49) looks like she has eyes for her man, Bridget sees both as signs to walk out.  That, of course leaves the door opened for our girl to fall back into the arms of former fling, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) the debonair and deceitful womanizing cad who says he has changed as a result of therapy. Of course, timing couldn’t be better for Daniel to make his move, since Bridget is given the job as Daniel’s co-host for his travel show, The Smooth Guide. With a friend along as chaperone, an assignment in Thailand sets the stage for another silly sequence. This one has Bridget getting arrested for drug smuggling, unaware that she has been set up to bring cocaine filled fertility snake and bowl out of the country. It is in a Bangkok prison, wouldn’t you know, that Bridget winds up teaching some female prisoners to sing Madonna’s Like A Virgin. All this and more, yet I failed to conjure up a laugh.

So, that’s basically it – a lot of cheap gags, and some slapstick humor. The storyline is so weak I didn’t care or sympathize with the stupid turn Bridget took in leaving her major catch of a boyfriend, a move she’d learn was a mistake. But, in romantic movie comedy fashion, there never is a doubt as to the happy ending. As for the title, Edge of Reason - based on the uninspired script, it is obvious the ONLY REASON this film was made was to capitalize on the financial success of the first.  Rent the first entertaining chapter, if you haven’t seen it.  But, then close the book on the Bridget Jones Diaries, since there is definitely no need to read more into it.

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