When last seen, bumbling, neurotic Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) had
finally dumped her former boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and snuggled in
with her priggish Prince Charming, otherwise known as Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).
While Bridget's "a love pariah" no more, her next question is: "What happens
after you walk into the sunset?" It's deja vu all over again when
Bridget's "happily ever after" bliss is not only challenged by her jealousy of
Mark's colleague gorgeous (Jacinda Barrett) but, more importantly, by her own
desperate lack of self-esteem.
Perhaps because Helen Fielding's second novel is so modest, three
additional screenwriters (Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis and Adam Brooks) came
in to flesh it out, along with heavy-handed director Beeban Kidron, who
amplifies Bridget's sappy melodrama and awkward, even annoying slapstick and
doesn't seem to notice that she's turned these eccentric characters into
caricatures. Sadly, the stalwart, colorful supporting characters (Jim
Broadbent, Gemma Jones, etc.) are now mere cameos. Jany Temime's costumes and
Adrian Biddle's photography do little to enhance poor Bridget, who seems far
lumpier and less attractive this time 'round.
The result is simply a silly trifle that's elevated by Renee Zellweger's
endearing, almost irresistible performance. Naturally slim, she's gamely piled
on the pounds again and become even clumsier. Colin Firth embodies the solid
sort of fellow every "thirtysomething" woman wants to wind up with but only
after her heart's been battered around a bit by the likes of a charming cad
like Hugh Grant. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Bridget Jones: The
Edge of Reason" is an amusing 5, appealing to the deep-seated insecurities in
all of us.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger