Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason [2004]

Although it's been three years since we last saw Bridget (Renée Zellweger), only a few weeks have passed in her world. She is, as you'll remember, no longer a "singleton," having snagged stuffy but gallant Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at the end of the 2001 film. Now she's fallen deeply in love and out of her neurotic mind with paranoia: Is Mark cheating on her with that slim, bright young thing from the law office? Will the reappearance of dashing cad Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) further spell the end of her self-confidence when they're shoved off to Thailand together for a TV travel story? If such questions also seem pressing to you, this sequel will be fairly painless, but you shouldn't expect anything fresh. Director Beeban Kidron and her screenwriters--all four of them!--are content to sink matters into slapstick, with chunky Zellweger (who's unflatteringly photographed) the literal butt of all jokes. Though the star still has her charms, and some of Bridget's social gaffes are amusing, the film is mired in low comedy--a sequence in a Thai women's prison is more offensive than outrageous--with only Grant's rakish mischief to pull it out of the swamp. --Steve Wiecking

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