Though subtlety and good taste were hardly things that you could accuse the first Bridget Jones' Diary of, it managed to be very funny quite a few times, and had characters you could care about or sympathise with to some extent. This sequel, however, The Edge of Reason really has practically nothing to recommend it at all.
Recommend this product?
The movie starts a few weeks after the end of the last film, with life looking up for Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) - crazily in love with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and now rid of womanising creep Daniel Cleever (Hugh Grant), and her TV career is on the up and up. All is right with the world, and the luckless thirty-something spinster is blossoming into full bloom
But, of course, things never go that smoothly. Before she knows it the world is upside down again, she's having one argument after another with Mark, she seems to have a competitor for his love, her career is going down the toilet, and Daniel is back in town - working for the same TV company she does. All sorts of hilarious situations are supposed to spring up from this but, somehow, very few do. Or maybe none - there are a few reasonably funny bits but nothing hilarious, and most of it is downright tedious.
Two things immediately stick out as wrong - Bridget, who previously elicited our sympathy, has turned into such a sad, self-obsessed creature that it's impossible to understand an intelligent (if too up-tight) man like Mark wanting to stay with her in any case. This was implausible enough in the first film but at least they managed to scrape together enough common ground to make it passably believable. The film starts out making it clear how little they have in common and why they split up (early in the film, btw) - it does such a good job that you really can't understand why they'd even try to stay together again.
Apparently in the book there was no Daniel Cleever. Fortunately they've found a way to bring him back for the movie which is a good job since, despite his appearance in the movie seeming rather forced, at least Hugh Grant manages to bring a little life and a few laughs into it. Even though Zellweger is one of my favourite actresses I found her silly accent and over-playing the character very irksome, and Colin Firth, who gets the majority of his parts mainly on the basis of his exceptional ability to look very stern, seems on the point of laughter even in his sternest scenes. If only I had found it all as funny as he seemed to, I would give this movie 5 stars
Many scenes are derivative of the first movie, and none of them are as funny as the corresponding scenes in the first. Bridget's friends are all very annoying in this one instead of funny, and the great talent of Jim Broadbent, who plays Bridget's father, are criminally underused. He seems fed up of the whole thing in all 15 seconds of screen time he gets (at least, it only seemed that long.) It also had a very odd (and not very good) soundtrack in that it seemed to be obsessed with trying to get in as many five second clips of as many songs as possible. Very weird, and quite annoying.
There were one or two redeeming features that saved it from a 1-star rating. There are at least some funny bits, few and far between but they were there if you looked hard enough. The bit where Bridget ends up in a Thailand jail with other women, realising how pathetic and self-pitying she is after being told the problems of some of the other women ("My boyfriend beat me, forced me to take heroin and then work the streets
what did yours do to you?") was quite good, even somewhat poignant. But it's sadly let down by the rest of the script, which is heavy on self-parody and profanity but very light on inventiveness and genuinely funny moments.
I had in fact decided not to watch this movie at all, but as a friend had it and I had grown curious about it, I decided to give it a go. I should have stuck with my first decision
Director: Beeban Kidron
Runtime: 108 minutes
Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual content (UK rating 15)
Year of Release: 2004
Based on the book by Helen Fielding.
Bridget Jones' Diary
My Top Ten Films of 2004
My Top Ten Romantic Comedies (the first film gets an honourable mention)
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