Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason movie full length review - In defense of The Edge of Reason (because I really liked it)
Having now seen The Edge of Reason (for the first time), I am prepared to spend a moment responding to the inevitable criticism (inevitable because I've already read hints of them on the boards and in some reviews). WARNING, MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD....
1) They didn't stick close enough to the book. *** Ah, isn't this the mother of all complaints? In fact, many other complaints are just a variation on it. But here goes. First, there is no way they could have put in everything from the book (and most complaints are about parts that were omitted), because the movie would be way too long. Second, most things in the movie actually were from the book, or a variation on a scene from the book (e.g. Bridget's parents' wedding, in lieu of Jude and Vile Richard's wedding). And what's so bad about some new stories for Bridget? It's just more Bridget to love (not unlike her wobbly bits).
2) Yes, but what about the interview with Colin Firth? *** Haven't we heard this before? Obviously they left it out because Colin Firth was already in the movie as Mark Darcy. Also the book The Edge of Reason was written when Pride and Prejudice was slightly newer on video in the UK and was part of the contemporary pop culture of the day. (Although, I admit it still has a very strong fan base!) There are other cultural reference in the book, Edge of Reason, that just couldn't be put into the film without dating it (e.g., the death of Princess Diana). (P.S., Pride and Prejudice fans should listen very carefully to Bridget's comments to Shazzer when returning from Thailand.)
3) Why'd they bring back Daniel Cleaver? He wasn't even in the book! *** Aha, but you're wrong there! First, there's Bridget and Daniel's phone conversation about where Germany is located. Then some time later, Bridget accepts a dinner date with Daniel, and even buys condoms "just in case." He comes to Bridget's flat and makes a pass at her before Bridget comes to her senses and throws him out.
Granted, they expanded Daniel's role quite a bit for the film, but I happen to love his sleazy charm. He is funny, funny, funny, and Hugh Grant is perfect in the role. (Look for a little jab at Hugh Grant in the Thailand scenes.)
4) So many scenes seem to be a rehash (or should I say retread) of similar scenes in the first movie. *** There are indeed events which are similar to things that happened in Bridget Jones's Diary. But they are not presented as something new and unique - instead they are an opportunity to look back nostalgically and compare how Bridget's life has changed. (If you haven't seen first movie - heaven forbid - they can be new and unique.) For example, the silly Christmas jumper that Mark Darcy wore at the first turkey curry buffet has a whole new significance this year.
5) What, another Darcy/Cleaver fight? *** Oh come on, you love it! (I did expect Pat Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" to break out at any time, and was quite disappointed that they didn't choose it as background!) The fight is fantastic, and totally in context with this movie - there is a good reason for it.
6) Bridget already had her happy ending in the first film, why do we need another? *** Aside from the fact that Helen Fielding wrote a second book? The end of Bridget Jones's Diary said "the beginning..."; not a promise of a sequel, but a reminder that life doesn't end with a kiss in the snow. This is the story of how a long-time singleton copes with being part of a couple (not very well).
7) They messed up the time sequence, and Bridget's age. *** Yes they did! My biggest pet peeve, in fact. Six weeks after the kiss in the snow should have been Valentine's Day, not a turkey curry buffet. And how can Bridget still be 33 at the end of another year? Not to mention that her "tombstone" says she was born in 1972....Come on, I'm three years older than when Bridget Jones's Diary came out, it's not fair that Bridget is a year younger! (Okay, I am not going to defend this flaw in the movie. But I suspect that most viewers will not be as troubled by it as I.)
So yes, the movie's not perfect, and it's not everything that a die-hard Bridget Jones fan would want. (I don't know that any movie could live up to those celestial expectations.) But it is v.g., and those who are Bridget fans will probably want to watch it many times. Those who just want to see a funny movie will like it too. Those who prefer explosions and gun shootouts should probably go elsewhere.
Since this is a review, I should also mention that Renee Zellweger was better than ever as Bridget (when I read the books, I now picture her as Bridget); Colin Firth was absolutely gorgeous, of course, and managed to crack his haughty Darcy-esquire facade with melting smiles on a number of occasions; and Hugh Grant was the very portrait of a posh cad.