Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

| November 13, 2004

You’re going to read a lot of reviews whining about how Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason isn’t as good as its predecessor, Bridget Jones’s Diary. This is because reading is a lost art in today’s society. Because what almost every negative review does is compare it to the first movie.
Which is wrong.
Because, you see, technically? It’s not a sequel to the earlier film. It’s a screen adaptation of the sequel to the first book. And here’s a little late breaking news flash for all those reviewers who apparently stopped reading around the same time they realised nobody was going to make them drink milk anymore: the second book wasn’t as good as the first one.
But, as a film version of that book? It’s bloody brilliant. If anything, it’s better than the book it’s based on. They’ve cut out the boring bits, and made the interesting bits even more entertaining.
And it’s actually quite nice, seeing what happens after “happily ever after.” Just like Shrek 2, we get to see what happens after the prince and princess hook up. And, kinda like real life, it’s not all hearts and flowers. They argue. Bridget suffers from what everyone in a relationship does from time to time, that feeling that this is all too good to be true and any second something’s going to happen and it’s going to end…to the point of sabotaging the whole thing. And Mark Darcy and Bridget, as all couples, aren’t always on the same page; hell, once or twice, they’re not even in the same book. Which is lovely. Hey! They’re just like us!
There is one scene which will resonate with everyone who’s ever dumped or been dumped. Bridget looks out her window at Londontown, and through every window of every flat we see couples. Couples hugging, couples kissing, couples dancing, couples happy and in love. A pregnant woman being helped to the sofa by her husband…and you know that feeling…that feeling of why doesn’t anyone want ME!? This one, short scene captures that feeling better than any film I’ve ever seen.
There’s also a seemingly random trip to Thailand…which actually is made to make sense here. It never really did in the book.
Of course, they’ve brought back the entire cast…parents, best friends, and the smarmy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant, whose name in the opening credits is decorated with a devil’s pitchfork). Renée Zellweger is, once again, the chubby heroine, and we are reminded why she’s been nominated for more than one Oscar. Its as though these parts were tailor-made for the actors, which, in Colin Firth’s case, it actually was.
I can’t end this without mentioning the skiing mini-break. Last winter, my boyfriend decided he needed to teach me how to ski. Like Bridget, I’m more Aprés Ski than Ski, and watching her fall off the chairlift, try to get down the hill sideways one step at a time, and slide down a mountain backwards and out of control, all the while trying to appear as though she knows what she’s doing…while even little kids are schussing by effortlessly at top speed…oh yeah. That was me, except my coat was orange, not pink.
Bridget Jones does what we’ve all done at least once…and she looks just as foolish doing it. She’s not perfect, but we see enough perfect people in the movies who live happily ever after. What we want is to see someone as hopeless as we feel muddle through and live happily ever after for a change. And that’s the beauty of Bridget Jones. She is Everywoman.

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