Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

She's a bit overweight. Smokes too much. Dresses in not quite the latest fashion, or within 10 years of it. Finds herself in the most ridiculous situations, like when she tells her new boyfriend how wonderful he was in bed last night....only to find that he's on speaker phone. With the Mexican ambassador in the room. And his staff.

This is Bridget's second romp for us, a more slapsticky farce than the hilariously internal one we saw first time around. So it's not as polished as the original, perhaps not as true to the original book, but it's still a good, funny film.

It is rather sad that the director decided to include silly little interludes on the slapstick side, like Bridget falling down a mountain on skis. Or falling from the skies. None of these scenes makes any sense. Still, these ridiculous choices don't detract from the wonderful situation of, let's break it down for you: girl wins boy, girl loses boy, girl wins boy back. We know what the ending will look like. We know Mark Darcy, the wonderful Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant in his best raconteur role yet, will wind up in the silliest namby-pamby fight you've ever seen. But that's just fine.

And you actually understand why Darcy and Bridget have problems. He's stiff-upper-lip Brit, she's more doing-things-spontaneously Brit. He would like things predictable, she can't be. Yet you know that's exactly what attracts them to each other. And each actor -- Renee Zellweger in a role that was sculpted for her, provided she puts on a few pounds, and Colin Firth, with that great double-take, slow burn of his -- is perfect. Add smart-ass Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver, a clever, double-talking T.V. personality who would never take himself seriously, and you have, well, you have the the first film. This one, however, adds a non-sequitur in the form of a femme fatale played by Jacinda Barrett, a red herring, if you will, and that just adds to the fun.

A lot of the pieces don't quite add up to the Edge of Reason by which Darcy would like us to live, but that's Bridget's life. It's not exactly according to Hoyle, but it's with feeling. And it's this feeling to which Darcy finally surrenders. And so do we.

Thumb's up.


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