Directed by: Beeban Kidron
Written by: Adam Brooks, Richard Curtis, Andrew Davies, Helen Fielding
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones
Even with their flaws, some characters become easy to root for, but at times it gets to the point where they become unbearable. Something that can occur when unnecessary sequels begin to occur. With Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, it proved to be so laughably terrible, it made me doubt how much I even liked the first one.
Now in a relationship with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) struggles with the perceived pressures of dating someone with the prominence and connections as her current beau. Whether it’s measuring up to women she perceives to be better looking than her or her other insecurities. This drives a wedge between them and sees the devious Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) pop back up in her life.
The complete incompetence of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason comes from its inability to tell a functional story and in the process, making the character we’re meant to root for completely unlikeable. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, the titular character had her quirks, which would lead to several mishaps but she continued to have an undeniable charm to her. Apparently, the charm could not sustain yet another feature film because the way the character was written this go-around proved to be an unmitigated disaster.
The main issue she faces from the rockiness of her relationship with Mark is how she believes she cannot measure up, and how she embarrassed him at seemingly every event. The most “comedic” moment of them all was the fancy dinner where plenty of prominent people from Britain and around the world would be attending. In typical Bridget fashion, she has some wardrobe and cosmetic issues, which makes her look like a fool in front of all the VIPs in attendance. An expected gaffe in this sort of film, but this scene becomes emblematic of the epic collapse of the character of Bridget Jones. In the first feature, she messed up and it felt like silly moments, but in this film, it just makes her look like a complete imbecile. It becomes mind-boggling why Mark would still find any attraction to her. Then comes the deceptive Daniel Cleaver once again.
Yet another case of a character who greatly outstayed their welcome, he comes back after bowing out in the first movie. He comes to wreak havoc and attempts to seduce Bridget Jones once again. The excuse the film conjures to put them together seems ludicrous considering Jones can barely discern any adult thoughts or have any sort of rationale. It becomes a waste of time because every moment they have is telegraphed and it leaves me waiting for the inevitable turn of what will occur between them.
It becomes baffling to see person after person throw themselves at Jones and I find myself stunned that no one sees her as the true liability in life she proves to be. It’s hard to blame Renée Zellweger for her performance seeing as her character has been completely tarnished in the script and left with her with nothing remotely resembling quality to work with. It goes for all of the characters as they find themselves in a similar story as the first film but much dumber and without any real purpose. To me, it appears the filmmakers saw the success of Zellweger’s performance and held onto the worst elements only to expand upon them. A decision lacking any real sense, seeing as Jones became a slapstick character rather than the insecure and real person she appeared to be in the first feature. Truly a shame for Zellweger, who had to put up with so much nonsense for the work she put in for this character.
It stuns me to no end just how putrid and embarrassing this film became because the characters set up in the first feature had some genuine charm to them. It became easy to care for them despite their faults, but Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason completely strips them away from anything remotely interesting in this horrifying sequel. I guess there’s a reason “Pride and Prejudice” did not have a literary sequel, seeing as telling the story following the couple getting together in the end really had nothing interesting to say. The entertainment world is different and people want to make money, which this film did, but that does not signify quality, which this movie severely lacked.