Saturday, November 20, 2004
'Bridget': less charm, but still lovable
OK, so most of the country's critics have already given the Bridget Jones sequel a thumbs down. Nor did it rock the world of two companions who attended Friday's screening with me.
But I can't help but stand my ground on this one. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" lacks the magic of the 2001 original, but it still beats lame-o romantic comedies like, say, "Wimbledon" or "Sweet Home Alabama" or pretty much anything starring Kate Hudson.
Directed by Beeban Kidron, "The Edge of Reason" strays much too far from Helen Fielding's novel of the same name, in the process losing much of the considerable charm of the book. But, luckily, the outrageous character Renee Zellweger has crafted is so dynamic and funny that she's able to hold the movie together.
When the sequel opens, we find Bridget is the same ol' insecure, smoking, clumsy, calorie-obsessed Londoner. This time around, though, she's content in the love department; our favorite singleton is dating human rights lawyer Mark Darcy (the v.g. Colin Firth).
I missed a good 10 minutes of the film due to some disaster with the print (which caused an employee in the projection area to yell a PG-rated curse word so loudly the entire theater could hear).
Luckily I didn't miss any of the scenes when the v.v.v.v.v.g. Hugh Grant enters the picture as Daniel Cleaver after Bridget and Mark have a falling out (a key reason the screenplay strays from the book, I'd wager, is so Grant could could utter the line "Oh god, I hope you're wearing the giant panties").
The seduction scene between Grant and Zellweger will no doubt give chubby women around the world hope that they might one day find their own suave Englishman despite their wobbly bits.
It's true - as many critics have complained - that "The Edge of Reason" puts Bridget in situations too implausible for words. But at least the movie gives us a believable character, something too rare in Hollywood. Our Bridget, with all her flaws and sometimes ruddy complexion, is the girl next door. Like all of us, she just wants to find love.
Bridget Jones: The Edge
At Carmike 10 at Tanglewood Mall, Salem Valley 8 and Valley View Grande 16. Rated R for language and some sexual content. One hour, 48 minutes.