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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

I’ll admit it: I never caught the first Bridget Jones movie and so can’t fully compare this sequel to the original – although I suspect a large degree of regurgitation. Once again, Renée Zellweger (famously porky) is the titular Jones, a kvetching, bumbling, weight-obsessed TV journalist; Colin Firth (famously dishy) is Mark Darcy and now also Jones’ handsome but rigid lawyer boyfriend (a man with a reputation for muttering the sensual words ‘I’m sorry, but I need to come’ mid-coitus); and Hugh Grant (famously caddish) is Daniel Cleaver, Jones’ smooth-talking colleague and Firth’s more dapper, less scrupulous love rival.

Whereas, previously, Bridget Jones was eternally single, a boyfriend has now endowed the awkward 32-year-old with a different set of concerns. Not least, keeping her man. In the film’s earlier scenes, Kidron does well to extract some passable social satire from her heroine’s awkward encounters with Darcy’s stuck-up colleagues at a Law Society dinner. But her story increasingly takes a downward, desperate turn once the sequel flails around for legs of its own. A disastrous skiing trip with her beau presages a teary break-up for Jones and an unconvincing working holiday to Thailand, where she is tempted by Cleaver’s oily charms (‘You thought all I knew about Thailand was pussy and ping-pong balls…’). Most incredibly, she lands up in jail on a trumped-up charge of drug possession. Guess whose savvy legal knowledge rescues Jones from this unlikely pickle?

Some good self-regarding gags help to raise the film above an overuse of sap and slapstick (ski slopes, ill-fitting dresses) – but beware a soundtrack that sounds as if it was pilfered directly from ‘The Ultimate Love Collection, Volume Two’.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday November 12 2004
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Beeban Kidron
Screenwriter: Andrew Davies, Helen Fielding, Richard Curtis
Cast: Renée Zellweger
Jacinda Barrett
Jim Broadbent
James Callis
Colin Firth
Hugh Grant
Gemma Jones
Sally Phillips
Shirley Henderson
Jessica Stevenson
Neil Pearson
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