Movie Name: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Release Date(s): November 8, 2004 (Premiere)/November 12, 2004 (UK)/November 19, 2004 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) finds her life is perfect. She has Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) who loves her just the way she is and a job that sends her all over the globe. When Bridget begins to suspect that Mark is cheating on her and playboy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) suddenly comes back in the picture, Bridget’s perfect life could be on the edge of collapse…and this time, it might be all her fault.
Directed by Beeban Kidron, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is an adaptation of Helen Fielding’s 1999 novel. The film is a sequel to 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and though a box office success, was critically panned.
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a bit of a dirty pleasure. Based on a book sometimes labeled “Chick Lit”, the movie is also aimed at women…but can be enjoyed by men as well. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is a much harder pill to swallow on all accounts.
You could argue that this movie is a very “guy” movie in that the character makes mistakes that a guy would make in a dumb comedy. It also almost feels like a remake with Bridget Jones making the same mistakes that she made in the first movie again and ending up single because she has a “grass is always greener” approach to her perfect boyfriend. She’s looking for excuses to get dumped or to dump him…it might be halfway realistic but it doesn’t necessarily make for a good film.
Zellweger likewise is less charming in this movie as a result. You felt for her character in the first movie, but here, it feels like she’s acting like a brat. She isn’t always portrayed as the brightest character, but even she’d be smart enough not to hook up with Grant’s character again (you also think Firth would be smarter in his actions as well). Sally Phillips gets a bigger role, but James Callis, Shirley Henderson, and Bridget’s parents Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones are virtually sidelined.
The movie’s visuals also seem to betray Bridget. We get a replay of the sliding down the pole gag with the parachute gag, but by taking the very “English” Bridget out of England, it feels less intimate and the character is less real (yes, I realize Zellweger is American and unreal in that sense as well).
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is a disappointing follow-up to a rather decent, light comedy. It feels like it tried to make too many people happy by making Bridget more accessible, but in turn, made no one happy. Bridget gets another change in 2016 with Bridget Jones’s Baby.