Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; romantic comedy, UK / France / Germany / Ireland / USA, 2004; D: Beeban Kidron, S: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jacinda Barrett, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent

London. Bridget Jones enjoys her relationship with Mark Darcy, but obstacles start to get in their way: during a lawyer's dinner and quiz, she accuses him of being too snobbish and conceited. Mark manages to mend fences, but another argument erupts when it is found out that Bridget is not pregnant, yet the two differ a lot about the plans for their potential life of a child. When Bridget suspects that Mark is secretly in love with assistant Rebecca, she breaks up with Mark and accepts a job of doing a tourist TV report about Thailand, together with her ex, Daniel. However, some guy hides drugs in Bridget's suitcase, and she is thus arrested. Luckily, Mark manages to get her released. Back in London, Bridget realizes that she was too harsh on Mark and two make up and get engaged.

Universally considered the be the weakest addition to the "Bridget Jones" film series by critics, part 2 is the ultimate example of a "mixed bag movie": the first half is actually good and has its moments, but once the 2nd part starts with, the Thailand travel segment, it all dissolves into a terrible mess, standing truly on the edge of reason. The only consistently good ingredient in it is another fantastic performance by Renee Zellweger, who truly achieved the role of her lifetime as Bridget Jones, even managing to keep up her sovereign and stoic attitude when confronted with utter garbage in the screenplay, such as feeling the effects from mushroom drugs or coping with a Thai prison. Still, as already noted, the first half of the movie works — truth be told, the authors copy too much tropes and ideas from the original film (Bridget falls with her butt on the camera from a parachute, similarly as she did when she fell from a firemen pole in the 1st film; she speaks sexual innuendo to Mark on the phone, not realizing she is on speakerphone and he is in the middle of a meeting, similarly as when she did when her mother was on the phone in the 1st film...), yet at least three scenes are small gems of romantic comedy: one is when Bridget enjoys just staring at Mark who is asleep in her bed, and the other is after they have an argument and she calls him on the phone from home, regretting it, but then realizes he is ringing at her doorstep ("Even though I called you an arrogant snob?" - "You see, the problematic thing is... I love you"). The endless flip-flopping between Bridget and Mark's relationship, who constantly separate over the most trivial things, seems contrived after a while, the ending looks forced whereas the constant streak of bad luck dumped on the heroine becomes annoying, yet this sequel is at least easily watchable thanks to the lovable Bridget who is always genuine and true to herself, which is rare. She is precisely so lovable because she is so imperfect. 12 years later, part 3 would improve the level of the franchise considerably.


No comments: