Bridget Jones is such an endearing character, and Zellweger plays her so well, that you could almost forgive the filmmakers for the disgusting sequence in Thailand, and love this film. Almost…
I was astounded by the mistake made. Having not read the book, I was completely unprepared for the way they would make light of the situation, dressing it up with Madonna sing-a-longs and lingerie parties, all the while demeaning themselves and those who really do suffer in this way. Was I moved by this sequence? Only to nausea.
After setting such a great pace, with laughs, pathos and ‘romantic drama’, why go in this direction? I accept they may have wanted to make this a serious story, about the ‘coming of age’ or ‘coming to senses’ of Bridget Jones, but really, drama doesn’t have to mean this.
Having said all that, if you forget this sequence, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is quite successful. The audience laugh when they are meant to, and sympathise when directed. Zellweger is absolutely brilliant as Bridget – her physical transformation is well documented, but her grasp of the character is superb. It has been a long time since an actor has so enveloped themselves in a role, and it is mightily refreshing. Firth and Grant, however, seem to be playing by number only, with little inspiration or development.
There is one amazing shot – a low pan-out across the London skyline, reminiscent to my mind of Moulin Rouge – that stood out, but otherwise the cinematography, editing and other technical features are serviceable without being outstanding. The music is lively and fun, and helps to tell Bridget’s story, allowing us insights not possible through a solidly average script.
Were it not for the Thailand sequence, I may well have loved this film for its portrayal of a woman so lacking in self esteem, who nonetheless gets it right in the end. It is feel-good stuff, destined to be loved by a million broken-hearted women eating Ben & Jerry’s. Unfortunately, it left me somewhere along the way.Rating: