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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

 

Rating: R

Distributor: Universal Studios Home Video

Release Date: March 22, 2005
Review posted: March 24, 2005

 

Reviewed by Rachel Sexton

 

SYNOPSIS

 

About a month and a half into her blissful new relationship with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), everyone’s favorite singleton, Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), is proud to no longer be a “tragic spinster” but embarrassing things keep happening and Mark is now working with tall, thin Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett). Bridget’s insecurities lead to a break up and of course Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) likes to flash his grin. But will Mark’s help to get Bridget out of a Thai prison on a bogus drug charge bring them back together? And will he propose?!!? Of course!

 

CRITIQUE

 

Much ado was made of the casting of Renee Zellweger when Bridget Jones’s Diary was released. When her performance turned out to be exceptional (earning an Oscar nomination) and when Colin Firth was finally given a big romantic lead and Hugh Grant was cast wonderfully against type as a cad, they were the icing on the enjoyable cake of a truly real, romantic and hilarious script. The script is where the sequel falls short. Despite game performances from all three leads and plenty of romance and humor, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason doesn’t quite equal its predecessor.

 

The Sound of Music, James Bond, and the first Bridget film are all referenced in the first ten minutes of this sequel as Bridget and Mark, firmly ensconced in their love, see each other again at the Turkey Curry Buffet thrown by Bridget’s mom again. Both in horrible sweaters, again. Then while reporting, Bridget jumps out of a plane and lands in a pig pen, her derriere making a beeline for the camera, just like in the first film. This is funny, so it takes a bit of the borrowed feeling out of it, but it is an example of the less fresh feeling about this film. The endearingly embarrassing comedy Bridget goes through is still here, though, and usually funny, so you love the character as much as ever. Perhaps even more so, as she makes the mistakes so many people do of letting their insecurities get the better of them in a relationship and they end up sabotaging themselves. Zellweger is more than adequate at showing this; you take a second look and notice she has actually used the comedy to craft a character.

 

Director Beeban Kidron, much more experienced than the original’s Sharon Maguire was, takes a few risks and hold up her end. You wouldn’t expect CGI in a romantic comedy, and you pretty much notice where it is, but Kidron uses it well. That panorama of London that connects Bridget and Mark is memorable. She’s also kept the fun use of recognizable songs for the soundtrack. She can do nothing, however, about the slightly ludicrous Thai prison plot development except photograph the country beautifully and make it quick. She lingers on the romantic moments from Mark just the right amount and genuinely creates a tension as to whether Daniel has changed. Firth and Grant just seem to live in these roles, each delicious and effective. To me, the biggest laugh of the movie comes with their fight rematch! Of the support, veterans Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones as Bridget’s parents are wasted, with little screen time. With a better script, these performers truly could’ve done even more.

 

THE VIDEO

 

The sometimes eye-catching cinematography of the theatrical version and the color is preserved well in this 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation.

 

THE AUDIO

 

Every great song is presented loud and clear in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Spanish and French language tracks are available, as are English, Spanish and French subtitles.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Commentary by Director Beeban Kidron: She offers a solo track that is interesting, with discussion of the choices she made, insights into the filming process, the soundtrack, and praise for the actors. I liked what she had to say about certain scenes of the script and author Helen Fielding’s novel.

 

Deleted Scenes: There are three scenes here, none of which are just extended, which is a good thing. They are well introduced by Kidron, explaining why they were cut, and they are entertaining. The christening sequence is good.

 

Bridget and Mark Forever: A too-brief studio featurette about the romance in the film, with cast interviews and clips. I love this couple and the format is familiar, so this is a nice extra.

 

Lonely London: A very interesting short feature on the techniques used to create that memorable panorama of London. The CGI and blue-screen work has little details you don’t notice until Kidron and an effects supervisor comment on them.

 

Bridget Interviews Colin Firth: This is basically a scene from the book that couldn’t be included for obvious reasons. Firth is playing Mark! But it is funny and has that postmodern feel.

 

The Fight: Mark and Daniel’s hilarious fight is the focus of another brief studio featurette. This time, though, the cast interviews are funny because Firth and Grant take good-natured jibes at each other. Really fun.

 

Who Do You Fancy? Quiz: A series of questions that has the taker “choose” between Mark and Daniel. It’s fun once but basically filler material.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason isn’t the equal of the original film but it has its own enjoyable comedic and romantic moments and a more daring directorial voice. The actors are the most appealing factor, especially Firth with more lead screen time. The DVD presentation adds admirably to the experience with good featurettes, though no trailer is included.

 

VERDICT: RECOMMENDED

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The DVD

 

:: DVD Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

7

THE VIDEO

9

THE AUDIO

9

THE EXTRAS

8

OVERALL

8

 

:: Merchandise

 

SOUNDTRACK

Buy the CD!

 

THE NOVEL

Buy the Book!