A lot of women are fond of Bridget Jones, a character created by British novelist Helen Fielding, because they feel that they "identify with her." They, too, worry about their weight, obsess over men, read self-help books religiously, and make clumsy mistakes. She gets herself into so much trouble that we feel suave in comparison.
In other words, Bridget Jones makes us feel better about ourselves in two ways; her gaffes are grander than ours, and her triumphs are bigger, as well. If the slightly pudgy Bridget can get Colin Firth and Hugh Grant to fight over her, there might be hope for us Average Janes, after all.
Bridget Jones in the first book/film is charmingly awkward. We feel sorry for her as she stumbles over introductions at a formal company gathering and struggles into enormous pants. In Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Bridget's character flaws start wearing thin very early on. Her neuroticism and self-destructiveness are downright irritating. While she's supposed to be a modern, independent woman, she screws things up so badly that the result sets the women's movement back thirty years.
In an early scene, Bridget (Renee Zellweger) stares wistfully at her sleeping boyfriend of eight weeks Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). At this stage, a gal still has to keep her distance, which Bridget ought to know after reading a library's worth of relationship advice books, but she still insists on phoning Mark from work not even four hours later in a scene that is too ridiculous to even discuss. Then she starts fretting to her friends about when he'll propose marriage. I repeat: they've been together eight weeks! I wanted to slap her and do my best John Cusack in Say Anything: "YOU MUST CHILL!" Her friends fuel her insanity.
If Bridget were a bit more patient and could enjoy her time with Mark, who is far too tolerant than any man could ever be, none of the crises of their relationship would occur. Mark is far too perfect in the Bridget Jones sequel. Or, I guess I should say, he's the stereotypical perfect man whom every woman wants or thinks she should want. Personally, I found him dreadfully boring despite wanting to like him since he looked so good on paper. A human rights lawyer? I should be swooning, but Firth lacks a certain charisma. Humorless saints just aren't my type, I guess.
Instead, Bridget still has a soft spot in her heart for prototypical bad guy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), a cad who has broken her heart in the past. He's the kind of man you want to hate but find yourself inexplicably attracted to. In the first book/movie, his character was a bit more subtle, but, in the sequel, he's slimier than ever, so it's hard to believe that Bridget would still have feelings for him despite his undeniable hotness. Animals know not to go back to something that has hurt them in the past, so I'm not sure why people don't learn from their mistakes.
As spiderkid pointed out in his review, the soundtrack is appalling. I believe Tom used the word "overbearing," which is a great way to put it. The first word I thought of was "oppressive." Sometimes the music drowns out the dialogue and is utterly unnecessary. I guess director Beeban Kidron was trying to distract us from the lackluster acting and witless script. Kidron also throws in too much physical humor as filler. Bridget falls into a pigsty, falls off a roof, waddles around in a too tight dress, flails around while shrooming... It gets pretty tiresome. Sorry, Helen Fielding, I liked the book, even though it was way too long, but the adaptation is pretty horrible.
The incredibly loud songs seem to be an attempt to keep the film hip, but The Darkness and Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" were so last year.
If you've read the book, you'll probably be especially disappointed in this film as they cut out some of the funniest parts such as Bridget's mother's midlife crisis. In this one, they have her parents renewing their vows, which is snore-worthy and utterly pointless. In addition, they changed the Rebecca plot completely and made it totally implausible.
What we're left with is bland, unrealistic, romantic comedy drivel (oh, wait, that's redundant) with love triangles, miscommunications, and caricatured characters.
Zellweger does a better job with the English accent this time, but she and the two male stars look bored half the time. I had heard that Zellweger didn't even want to participate in the sequel. With nary a plot and very few decent lines, I can't say I blame her.
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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