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Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge of Reason

Bridget Jones:  The Edge of Reason
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Jacinda Barrett, Jim Broadbent

The Edge of Reason, subtitle to Beeban Kidron’s sequel to Bridget Jones’ Diary, was inevitable after the surprise 2001 hit which brought Renee Zellweger an Oscar nomination. Here the romantic comedy and slapstick doesn’t nearly have the same appeal after three years later even with the original cast intact along with Bridget’s mannerisms and commentary. Some of the dialogue has zip, but many scenes aren’t new and often embarrassing for the actress criticized for taking on the part.

Our plump heroine ready to give up her vices is a TV reporter (skydiving into a pig sty at the onset) in a happily-ever-after scenario with handsome boyfriend, human-rights attorney Mark Darcy (Colin Firth in a role patterned after his work in the BBC show “Pride & Prejudice). But, the busy Mark gives Bridget a worry some attitude even after they both acknowledge their cute reindeer red and white sweaters.

There’s a very pretty intern, Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett of Ladder 49), who seems to be around Mark a lot. And when Bridget checks up on him the result gets a little embarrassing, especially when he’s in a conference.

Her ex and ex-boss, Daniel Cleaver, a rakish Hugh Grant, is also a hot journalist now on the telly who pops up to give Bridget something that might tempt her when her insecurities get the better of her. The plot, concocted by Andrew Davies, Helen Fielding (who penned the book), Richard Curtis (Love Actually), and Adam Brooks, has Bridget going off to Thailand to cover a story with Daniel.

Unfortunately, even if The Edge of Reason retains a certain capable naughtiness, the film emphasizes Bridget’s personality in a way that is mostly awkward and the diary element is lost. Her physical side corresponds with her distinctive traits that unfortunately make her less endearing and the chemistry between her and Firth suffers in the process.

But, Zellweger has enough spunk to register with many of the females who reacted positively the first time around, and Firth and Grant have the ability to engage as the men in her life. There’s another go-around between Mark and Daniel that lands them in a fountain. But how it gets to that point and the smiley, bright conclusion is weak, especially in a twist off of Return To Paradise that has Bridget leading inmates in a new version of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin.”

The visuals at times are almost art like and the music is obviously geared more to younger fans. And the revelation of Barrett’s Rebecca is just part of the insight lost in Susan Maguire’s more fully rounded look at a tragic spinster turned into a wanton sex goddess.

Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge of Reason

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