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'Bridget' sequel not like first

photo courtesy of universal pictures
"Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason," with Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, is the just-OK follow-up to the hugely successful "Bridget Jones's Diary."
By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 18, 2004
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"Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" is neither edgy nor reasonable. But, it still makes for a good time.

The first "Bridget Jones" movie chronicled Bridget's (Renée Zellwegger) struggle with singledom and self-esteem. In the newest installment, "The Edge of Reason," Bridget's struggle is mostly focused on her relationship with Mark Darcy and the self-doubt that inevitably follows.

This movie picks up four weeks after the last film ended, with Bridget in a semi-serious relationship with Mark (Colin Firth). Aside from a couple of minor infractions, Mark is perfect and she still cannot figure out why he is with her to begin with. Bridget, therefore, is worried that he is going to run off with his leggy and gorgeous co-worker Rebecca. So she pre-emptively leaves him in an attempt to sidestep what she perceives as her inevitable misery and loneliness. After breaking things off with Mark, Bridget naturally finds herself miserable, single and alone. Enter Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

6 out of 10

Daniel invites Bridget to participate in a tour guide video series that he has created, in order to regain her trust and re-shag her. They fly to Thailand to do the video and Daniel turns on the charm to win her back. She must weigh her options between giving into temptation and preserving hope for getting back together with Mark. This is where the movie turns all "Brokedown Palace." Bridget's friend asks her to hold a ceramic snake in her suitcase for her. At the airport, Bridget is searched and the authorities find the snake, which is filled with cocaine. Bridget is thrown into a women's prison and only handsome human rights lawyer Mark Darcy can get her out.

This movie relies a lot on performance, as opposed to plot. The performances are very good, whereas the plot and storyline are not, really. There are a lot of moments in the film where I rolled my eyes because of lack of plausibilit - like when she skis into the pharmacy, the Thai prison fiasco and the lesbian twist. But overall, the story is entertaining enough.

Zellweger is great in this movie. She portrays the awkwardness of low self-esteem and gives voice to women who are having trouble finding and keeping a man these days. Jones is also easy for a lot of women to relate to, because she isn't the stick figure leading lady everyone is so used to seeing, yet she still has the chance to pursue - and be pursued by - handsome men. This movie is worth seeing if you were a fan of the first film. It plays on a lot of the same themes and "aww" moments of the first one.

But although "Edge of Reason" is worth seeing, it still does not stack up to the first "Bridget Jones." This might be because the second book is also not as good as the first. In romantic comedies, it is much more entertaining to see two people getting together than seeing two people staying together. "The Edge of Reason" could have been better. Take away the slapstick comedy, the overemphasis on her weight and cheesy dialogue, and it could have been a real match for its predecessor.

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