Bridget Jones 2: The Edge Of Three Good Reasons

My mum: So when are we watching Bridget Jones 2?
Me: Are you sure you want to watch it? The reviews have been very bad, you know.
My mum: Hmm…but what about Colin Firth?
Me: Oh, I’ve heard he’s as hot as always.
My mum: So when are we watching Bridget Jones 2?

So we did.

The reviewers were right. Unlike the first film, which permitted Bridget to look attractive in many shots, the sequel must have been trying to outdo Cold Mountain in a bizarrely sadistic Just How Ugly Can We Make Renee Zellweger If We Really Really Put Our Minds To It competition. She spends most of the film gurning frantically and waddling around like Grimace. While the Bridget of the first film does seem a fairly good representation of the average-sized English woman, the Bridget of the sequel looks more than a few Jammy Dodgers heavier than a size 14. (Perhaps they used a Marks & Spencer size 14. That would also explain her frumpy outfits.)

What was effortlessly charming and genuinely hilarious about the first film mostly fell flat here. Bridget humiliating herself on national television, this time by sky-diving straight into a pigpen. Shazzer’s constant swearing. Bridget’s embarrassing mum and henpecked dad. All of these rehashes of the first film had absolutely nothing new added to them to prevent them from seeming tired, mindless and lazy. And the new twist they did try to offer involving Mark Darcy’s leggy assistant backfired in a really painfully unfunny scene towards the end.

I do acknowledge that they were working from very weak source material. As sequels go, The Edge Of Reason is to Bridget Jones’ Diary as Emma Tennant’s Pemberley is to Pride And Prejudice. (If you haven’t read Pemberley, do not. Ever. Even if it was the last book on earth.) But seriously, dung beetles make better use of shit than this film did. Unfortunately, due to a rumour I’ve heard that the DVD release will feature that scene from the book where Bridget interviews Colin Firth (so essentially it’ll be Bridget interviewing Colin Firth, played by himself), I might still find myself involuntarily purchasing it. Gah.

That brings us neatly on to the redeeming moments of this film. If I seemed to be suggesting there weren’t any, I lied – there are three. One, Hugh Grant is hot. Two, Colin Firth is superhot. Three, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant trying to beat each other up are bloody hilarious. Let’s take them one by one.

  1. Hugh Grant: Daniel Cleaver is the only well-scripted character in this film, and Hugh Grant takes that and runs with it yet again. Describing the Sistine Chapel as “the first example of poof interior design gone bonkers” is a moment of glory for both him and the writers. Also, please give the Turner Prize to the bright spark who started giving Hugh Grant decent haircuts. His hair isn’t as good in this movie as in About A Boy, which marks a trichological (and career) peak which he will possibly never scale again, but at least his fringe isn’t floppy.
  2. Colin Firth: Do I even need to explain this? Ceteris paribus, as far as films go anyway, an English accent will always be sexier to me than almost any other (Irish and Scottish accents are up there too, no prizes for guessing which accent is waaaaay down), a broody man sexier than a goofy one, and a human rights barrister sexier than pretty much anyone or anything except possibly Julie Delpy. (See review of Before Sunset.)
  3. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fighting like girly-men: In my view, better in this film than in the first. Location-wise, I like the Serpentine Gallery more than The Real Greek, though that might just be bitterness from my underwhelming and expensive meal there speaking. Soundtracking the fight with I Believe In A Thing Called Love as they flail and flounce around is a stroke of genius. Good lines – “What are you going to do now, drown me in sixteen inches of water?!” – and the ouch, baby, very ouch snipe Daniel Cleaver gets in right at the end of the fight. (I won’t spoil it.)

Of course, there’s also the small matter of London and what those memories do to me. But I think you’ve all had quite enough of that already.


  1. I greatly approved of the fighting like girlie-men, and I think your line about dung beetles accurately pegs the quality of the film, but I don’t really find Colin Firth that hot. He looked attractive on first impression, but once I realised he’s only ever played two roles in his life (a piece of wood with the last name ‘Darcy’, and a generic English piece of wood), he sort of lost his charm for me.

  2. interesting, considering the guy I was watching it considered it the ‘most realistic looking fight’ he’s seen in a movie.

    read your before sunset review too. I actually preferred it to before sunrise. ah well.

  3. Jol: The first time I saw Colin Firth I didn’t even think he looked good. I thought “What, of all the people they could get to play Darcy, they chose this guy?” But he grew on me, and by the end of the series I was besotted. I agree he gets typecast a lot of the time, but hey, as long as I like the type, I’m fine with the repetitiveness. Besides, he isn’t always English and woody. Have you seen Girl With The Pearl Earring? Worth seeing even if you don’t like him, it’s beautifully shot. Every scene is like a painting.

    silvermyst: It did look pretty realistic, he’s right. It was almost totally unchoreographed, according to what Hugh Grant and Colin Firth have said in interviews. I preferred Before Sunset to Before Sunrise too. Parts of Before Sunrise feel too much like idealistic young college students trying too hard to sound deep to me. But they’re both still two of the smartest, most romantic movies I’ve ever seen.

  4. I actually really enjoyed the movie. Though the guy I watched it with didn’t. It’s nowhere as good as the first, but like you said, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth more than make up for it. Yum yum.

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