Bridget Jones is back, Jack! And boy howdy is she getting into some kooky situations. Last we saw she had gotten the guy and was set to live happily ever after and now… uh… I guess she’s gonna screw it up? Can she not screw it up, get the guy, and get out of Thai prison (what, what?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
How?! Bridget Jones is on top of the world. She got a great career, a great boyfriend, and a great diary that she writes in. This will be the best year ever. That is until she totally starts to fret about her lawyer Mark Darcy’s hot, young lawyer colleague. He’s definitely having an affair. How do we know: because this is a film and Bridget needs a reason to screw up her nascent relationship for the fun (?) of the viewers. Anyway, after a disastrous lawyer party, lunch with her parents, and ski vacation Bridget seems to have totally messed things up with Mark. They’ve broken up, gotten back together, and broken up again leaving Bridget in the lurch just as she gets a new assignment reporting on exotic locales with her *gulp* ex-dirtbag boyfriend Daniel Cleaver. On assignment in Thailand, she almost hooks up with him, but at the last moment Daniel again demonstrates why he’s just a garbage person and she gets out of there. You’d think everything would go pretty smoothly from here but remember, it’s that kooky Bridget Jones we know and love so she ends up accidentally getting nabbed for drug smuggling. She ends up in a Thai prison for a surprisingly large chuck of the film, eventually being freed by lawyer extraordinaire (and not garbage person) Mark. Back in the UK, Bridget realizes that she loves him, runs to his office, and they totally smooch a whole bunch and they get engaged… which doesn’t seem like the best idea considering the tumultuous year they had. But you do you Bridget. THE END.
Why?! Everything that happens in the film is for love I guess. Bridget self-sabotages pretty hard and you would think it was because of mistrust or anxiety or feelings of inadequacy. But if that were the case it would be odd that they would be so dead set on getting engaged after like three months of dating. The only logical thing is that they are both screwing up their relationship so badly because they are scared of how much they love each other. Yeah… that’s the ticket.
Who?! Looking around I thought we would be totally bereft of something to talk about for this section. Nothing of interest was really popping out. That is until I saw that Jacinda Barrett, who played Rebecca, the woman Bridget feared Mark was having an affair with, made her television debut on The Real World. Kinda makes me think there might be a cycle in there somewhere. Reality TV stars in film. Woof.
What?! There are a couple very prominent advertisements for Coca-Cola at the beginning and end of the film. A large billboard seems to give Bridget encouragement to go get her man (and also encourages us to drink a delicious and refreshing Coca-Cola at the same time).
Where?! Much more of a road trip film in this case. Yes, we’re still primarily set in the UK, but this time we get some exotic excursions into Austria and Thailand. Classic sequel right there. Let’s take a character we love (e.g. Deuce Bigalow) and take him somewhere new (Amsterdam). In this case, the UK is important to the plot and the other locations are fun. I’m bumping it to an A-.
When?! The Bridget Jones films are as close to a road trip through time as you can get. They start immediately following New Years (first film is the year 2000 and the second has to be 2001 then) and proceed through the year ending between Xmas and New Years. In some ways you can lock them in as Secret Holiday Films as the most important bits of the story take place then. It is also important to the plot to as a New Year’s resolution is pretty much why she starts the diary in the first place. A-.
The best way to describe this film is as the equivalent to a television show. Season 1 (Bridget Jones’s Diary) was the smash hit, will-they-won’t-they, Ross-and-Rachel season that captured the heart of America. I thought it was fantastic. She was kooky and it was surprisingly raunchy and just generally a fun time. Then season two rolls along and they are like “shit, how do we recapture the magic?” Break them up, obvs. American will love seeing us make these people neurotic crazies and then get them back together. Magic recaptured, right? Not really. It’s the problem with the will-they-won’t-they model as it generally proceeds directly into relationship strife, and I don’t love watching that. Add on top that it’s just generally sillier, crazier (she ends up in a Thai prison), and more cliched and it is certainly a lackluster return for our girl Bridget… although I wouldn’t say the worst thing we’ve ever watched or anything. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! The Bridget Jones films, the first two at least, were an interesting time capsule of early 2000s British comedies. We watched the bad one. Let’s get into it!
P’s View on the Preview – I knew very little about the series going in, but realizing that the director of the first skipped the second and ended up directing the third I know there was going to be something off about it. I do kind of wish I had read the books, because what I will very likely blame greedy studio execs for maybe could more accurately be blamed on a greedy author, I wouldn’t know. Such is life I guess.
The Good – The three leads are as charming as ever. If you wanted a bigger badder Bridget Jones, well they delivered. They took the character on the road, gave her big stories to explore, and even more awkward moments to create. What they didn’t do was introduce a bunch of new characters for the sake of it and base everything around that. There are things to like in the film.
The Bad – The film feels exactly like what any bad rom com is. Almost quintessentially so. It is kind of a carbon copy of the original with all of the same characters and story beats. Bridget is arguably flanderized into her most audience-pleasing traits. It takes the main character from the charming original setting of London and then relies on fish-out-of-water stories in foreign countries for dramatic moments. And it resets all of the advancements from the original in order to reset everything to be done again. Literally … both movies are just Bridget Jones getting into relationships with the same two guys. In that sense the film in honestly horrible.
You Just Got Schooled – Aha, well in order to watch the sequel I had to watch the original acclaimed Bridget Jones. It was solid, but highly dependent on how much one can tolerate the classic British awkward humor (it shouldn’t be a surprise that both Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Office came out in 2001). Zellweger, Grant, and Firth are all fantastic. And it is a veritable who’s who of British comedic talent, even in the minor roles (two of her friends are Baltar from Battlestar Galactica, and Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter!). It is quite the trick to see a genuinely good film create a genuinely bad sequel, and all wrapped up in a very rare romantic comedy franchise.
The BMT – So here’s the thing: For all of the reasons described in The Bad section this is kind of a perfect example of a bad rom com sequel. But I don’t think that is why we’ll remember it. We are far more likely to remember the weird ones like Here on Earth than the quintessentially bad ones, of which there are multiple that do what this does at least part way. No, this is a rare romantic comedy franchise, which is interesting. Kind of makes me hope they make a Sex and the City 3.
Welcome to Earf – Alright well I could remember one other film we’ve seen with Zellweger, New in Town, which also stars J.K. Simmons. But then I had to look up the connection via the Snowman, which also stars Val Kilmer, who was in Batman Forever with Jim Carrey, who was in The Number 23 with Virginia Madsen, who was in Firewall with Harrison Ford, who was in Hollywood Homicide with Josh Hartnett, who was in Here on Earth! Rare Harnett path, welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – So here’s the thing you have to remember: 2004 was absolutely horrible for movies. The other thing you have to remember: romantic comedies are traditionally not that great. Combine those two and I literally can’t find a list with this film on it. Rest assured, it isn’t great, but it also isn’t going to beat out White Chicks, Catwoman, and The Whole Ten Yards!