Opens: Fri., Nov. 12
The pitch: Yo-yo dieting Renee Zellweger packs the junk back in her trunk to reprise her role as the ditzy, plumpish London diarist. Will Bridget muck up her storybook relationship with reserved but dashing Mark Darcy (Colin Firth)? And will she shag her caddish ex-boyfriend Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) on a trip to sensual Thailand?
Money shots: Acrophobic Bridget sky-dives into a pigsty for a TV stunt. Ski novice Bridget slaloms uncontrollably down a slope. Wrongfully arrested Bridget teaches her Thai cellmates the moves and lyrics of Madonna's "Like a Virgin."
Fashion statements: For a snobbish lawyer party, Bridget wriggles into a gold gown so long and tight, she can barely walk. Her grandmotherly "giant panties" from the first film reappear.
Product placement: A Coca-Cola sign in Picadilly Circus mirrors our heroine's mood with messages like "Bridget and Mark are the real thing." When the lovers split up, Bridget tucks into a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
Hit single: International law requires romantic comedies to include at least one rendition of "Everlasting Love," and Bridget showcases versions by Jamie Cullum and Love Affair.
Politically correct? Not quite. The film makes sport of Bridget's weight, although Zellweger isn't especially fat. Thai characters are treated condescendingly and only serve to put Bridget's trivial problems into perspective.
Hey, wait a minute: Bridget unconvinc-ingly claims, "I have crucial Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism to do" -- but they don't have Pulitzers in England.
Inside joke: Novelist Helen Fielding gives Bridget a massive crush on movie star Colin Firth, and her tongue-tied interview with Firth provides the biggest laughs of the Edge of Reason book. Casting Firth as Mark Darcy, alas, made the scene impossible.
Better than the original? No. Edge of Reason recycles too many of the previous films' big moments, like Mark brawling with Daniel and Bridget making a mad dash to save her relationship. Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent, as Bridget's Dad, is wasted.
The bottom line: As the prat-falling, foul-mouthed Bridget, Zellweger hilariously embodies modern female insecurities, but Edge of Reason mostly proves stale and obvious. The unnecessary sequel to the first novel becomes an unnecessary sequel to the first movie.
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