When a movie in Hollywood makes a lot of money, a sequel is almost always guaranteed, even if that movie is a romantic comedy. Such is the case of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, an enjoyable if unwarranted sequel that has some good laughs but nothing more.
Renee Zellweger reprises her role as the lead character, a plump, bumbling Brit who, following the events of the previous film, has a boyfriend in the form of Colin Firth. However, her boyfriend, Mark Darcy (remember the original was a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice), is handsome, smart and successful, which, after two months, makes Bridget start wondering what he sees in her (since she's a plump, bumbling Brit) - and whether he's cheating on her with fellow lawyer Becky (Jacinda Barrett). Their troubles lead her back into the arms of cunningly wicked Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), who would like nothing more than to shag her once again. Is Bridget destined for true love, or, is it what she expects - she's doomed to single hood for the rest of her life?
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is funny. There are plenty of jokes from beginning to end and all of the actors get a piece at the pie. Zellweger is good once again, though I doubt she'll receive another Golden Globe nomination for best comic actress. Firth is also good as usual; I'm a big fan and it would be nice to see him in meatier roles in the future. Of course, once again, the real star of the show is Grant. He doesn't have a huge part in the movie, but he steals every scene he's in. Some of his lines are absolutely great.
The problem with The Edge of Reason is not with the script as much as its necessity. The movie is funny, but is this movie really needed? Nothing new really amounts in this movie, and we get to see the typical sequel trait of several direct references to the previous movie, such as Bridget making a mockery of herself on television, Cleaver searching for those granny underpants and, of course, Darcy and Cleaver trading punches and kicks once again. Albeit all of these references are pretty funny, they make you think is this movie really needed? As entertaining as it is, it's harder to root for Bridget this time around because she does so many stupid things; why does Darcy love her? I felt sorry for the man, to be honest. She doesn't trust him, she embarrasses him at every turn and, frankly, he could do better. Of course, this is the whole point of the Bridget Jones saga, but the original film seemed to wrap things up so nicely.
Of course, what really hurts the film is its God-awful final act. The jokes fade away and (SPOILER ALERT) somehow Bridget ends up in Thai prison for allegedly smuggling cocaine. All of sudden, the movie changes direction - for the worse - and never really recovers. We all know how the movie is going to end and the Thai prison sequence, which goes on for quite some time, just seems to draw out the inevitable. It's a really disappointing finish.
Still, even with a horrible third act, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is worth it. It of course isn't as good as the original by any stretch of the imagination, but as romantic comedies go, it is a pretty entertaining one for both men and women. It's funny, occasionally crude and has some very entertaining moments. It might make a better rental than a theatrical visit - they just better not make a third one.
Now out on DVD, fans have even more to celebrate. Though there aren't any large special features and the DVD's navigation is sketchy at best, there are a few pretty funny supplements that should get you giggling. Three deleted scenes with introductions by the director are okay enough, but the real treats are the surprisingly sarcastic interviews (well, not too surprising considering Hugh Grant is among those interviewed). I was cracking up at a five minute segment where the actors discuss the fight between Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver as the segment treats the two actors so seriously while they exchange barbs. Another segment that talks about the relationship between Mark and Bridget is not very interesting, but fans of the book might take joy in learning that Bridget Jones does interview Colin Firth - off set.
I guess in the book, the author wrote Colin Firth (as himself) into the book in the form of an awkward interview with Bridget Jones. The DVD includes such an interview where Zellweger stays in character but Firth acts like himself. It's pretty humorous, as Bridget basically keeps bringing up a scene in "Pride and Prejudice" where Firth is wearing a wet T-shirt.
Another special feature which I did not indulge myself in was a "Who's Your Man?" Quiz. Enough said.
Fans of the movie should take joy in the brief but witty special features included here, but for DVD aficionados, there's nothing that makes this DVD stand out among the rest.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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