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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)

Same Bridget. Brand new diary.

Directed by:

Beeban Kidron

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 108 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

Country: United Kingdom

Someone played a nasty trick on me. I thought I was going to see ‘Indiana Jones and the Hedge of Treason’. THAT would be a fantastic movie – Indy’s films always are. But what’s this? BRIDGET Jones? Well, I suppose it at least explains why all of the other men queuing in front of me to buy tickets looked a bit embarrassed – and also, come to think of it, why I was the only one wearing a brown leather hat and carrying a whip. Still, I was determined to make the most of this ‘Bridget Jones’ sequel, despite finding the first one to be a bit on the crappy side.

Renee Zellweger returns to play the squinting heroine of the title – and yes, she has been back on the pies in preparation. We pick up this latest diary instalment just a few weeks after the last one left off, with our Jonesy now secure in the joys of coupledom with plum-mouthed lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). You see, one of the few notable strengths of the 2001 original was that it wrapped everything up quite nicely – so now the writers are left with the headache of having to unwrap it all in order to provide us with a sequel. As a result, a good hour of this film is spent trying to convince us – less than successfully, I might add – that the pair of them would split up over quite literally nothing, purely for the purpose of getting them back together again in a predictable climax.

Jones’ crumbling relationship with Darcy-Farcy isn’t the only element of the film that feels forced and contrived. There’s also her reacquaintance with old flame Daniel (Hugh Grant) who, just like Bridget herself in the first film, appears to have walked straight into a prime TV presenting job despite possessing no apparent qualifications or experience. But – and here’s something you won’t hear me say very often – thank God for Hugh Grant. He’s the only one in the film who gets to deliver some decent comedy stretching beyond woman-says-something-embarrassing-only-to-realise-there-are-lots-of-people-listening (I actually lost count of how many times that one formula was used in an attempt to squeeze another painful laugh out of the audience).

But, after spending an hour or so teetering on the verge of losing it completely, the film finally takes a plot turn which sends the whole thing toppling over the edge of – well – reason. After having a stash of cocaine planted on her at an airport, Jones is carted off to a Thai jail and it turns into a bizarre light-comic version of ‘Midnight Express’, still sticking steadfastly to its bright, breezy humour despite the fact that the subject matter has long since turned sour (and even a bit worrying). A more bizarre, uncomfortable, and completely inappropriate attempt at comedy I cannot recall seeing.

It's Got: Mad hair and scary knickers.

It Needs: Someone who knows the German for “pregnancy test”.

Alternatives:

Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually, Notting Hill

Summary

Goes beyond the edge of not just reason, but comedy and good sense. Let’s hope Bridget keeps her diary private from now on.

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