Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
2004, R, 108 min. Directed by Beeban Kidron. Starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jacinda Barrett, Sally Phillips, Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones.
REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., Nov. 12, 2004
One hundred thirty pounds (bloaty – ovulation?), husband 1, shags 0, calories (not sure – no nutritional information on Big John’s Cookie from Whole Foods), cigarettes 3 (plus nicotine-replacement gum). Seen new Bridget Jones movie. Four screenwriters, including original scribe Helen Fielding. Director Kidron (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar) takes over. Movie purports to depict "what happens after you walk off into the sunset," based on boffo "chick" novel of same name. Cheeky Bridge (Zellweger) is cute and winning – should eat doughnuts more often. Vulnerable and sweet. Looks fabulous and Cormanesque in Wonderbra. (Note to self: Does Wonderbra come with nursing flaps?) Lovely timing for physical comedy – good news since Zellweger skis, takes psilocybin accidentally, teaches Thai women’s prison inmates to lip-synch "Like a Virgin" (don’t ask). Movie cuts out a lot of the farce (no dry-cleaner hijinks or trip to Kenya) and fills in blanks with Motown needle-drops to provide time-released "go-girl" sensation. Trio of supporting characters reduced to Greek chorus of love advice. Is Shirley Henderson in bad wig? Jacinda from Real World: London as coltish ingénue complicating relationship with tight-lipped Tory boyfriend Mark Darcy (Firth, adorably constipated). Zellweger lurches around in gold mermaid gown, tumbles into garden. Grant is dimpled rakehell Daniel Cleaver, as before. Movie seems okay but gets exasperating. Screenwriters not in agreement – Bridget an object of satire or Modern Urban Everygirl? Should I want to slap these people silly? "Delightful" misunderstandings becoming wearisome; wish Bridge would stop blabbering in voiceover and speak directly to other characters. Unchallenged basic premise of "chick lit" seems to be that women thirst unslakably for dick and wedding ring at expense of self-respect. Ironic: Hottest scenes suggest superior same-sex lifestyle alternatives (aforementioned Thai prison sequence, Firth and Grant wrestle in fountain, à la Dynasty). Movie drags on. Mind returns to Zellweger in Wonderbra. Final verdict: Cast is excellent; movie is OK; men and women are soooo different.