Review: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)

Directed by: Beeban Kidron | 110 minutes | drama, comedy, romance | Actors: Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Jacinda Barrett, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, James Faulkner, Celia Imrie, Dominic McHale, Donald Douglas, Shirley Dixon, Neil Pearson, Rosalind Halstead, Luis Soto, Tom Brooke, Alba Fleming Furlan

Helen Fielding’s book Bridget Jones’s Diary was a huge hit and the movie of the same name followed in 2001 with similar success. Bridget’s fortunes are particularly appealing to our ‘Sex and the City’ fans, especially the women below. The hilarious stuff with men, jealousy, blunders, dieting and attempts to quit smoking offers a recognizable world with a lot of humor. The producers of ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’, the sequel to the first Bridget film, were sweating to make the second film just as successful. Tension rose again when it turned out that they had to find another director and that actress Renée Zellweger was initially not eager to participate again. And apart from that, is a sequel Bridget that is now firmly ‘on the man’ still fun to watch? After all, a good portion of her fame was derived from her love-out pariah status.

‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’ eventually succeeded very well in becoming a successful successor. That merit is mainly due to the actors and of course the jokes that follow each other at a pleasant pace. The story itself is less engaging; the long trip to Thailand and the women’s prison – where Bridget stays briefly – even threatens to become a somewhat boring and artificial interlude. The strength of the Bridget Jones formula lies mainly in the recognizable daily incidents and ‘states’ that a single person in his twenties or thirties could have experienced himself. The scenes in this sequel Bridget are the strongest there. Especially the visual jokes are very nice to see now and then; Bridget’s bumbling on a ski vacation with Mark Darcy leads to a worthy Charlie Chaplin impersonation.

Hugh Grant plays the raunchy Daniel Cleaver with gusto. Grant is not asked for the serious acting and here too he is cast as a tasty, funny and romantic thing. But in this case, he manages to give it a different twist. His character and jokes are both pretty rude; a nasty bastard who makes you laugh anyway. In short, not a touching boy here, but a nice puss bump. Renée Zellweger skillfully once again puts down a credible Bridget. It’s a shame that the scenario puts her in roughly the same embarrassing situation at least three times. Then such a joke is just twice as much milked out. Was the repertoire of jokes and crazy situations exhausted? Perhaps many jokes in the book simply do not lend themselves to screen display. Watching ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’ suggests that the makers have now reached the limit of what can be filmed about Bridget. But don’t worry, for now Bridget number two is a pleasant film.

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