Unrealistic expectations

In the new “Bridget Jones” movie, the fat’s on the screenplay, not the star

by Claire Joseph

Bridget Jones’s Diary” was prime sequel bait.

The 2001 film, which precedes “Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason,” developed engaging characters, proved the transferability of the themes from novel to screen and, most importantly, made plenty of money.

Fans who rush to the sequel hoping for a repeat of the earlier film’s delightful humor might be sorely disappointed.

The original movie was based on Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name. Both Fielding’s novel and director Sharon Maguire’s film parallel Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

“Bridget Jones’s Diary” stars Renee Zellweger as a woman who finds herself in a heated love triangle with her former boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and the son of a family friend, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).

After trying to determine which man is trustworthy, Jones ends up falling in love with Darcy – the right choice.

Jones’ charm lies in her awkwardness. Although she tries to be effective and in control, she oftentimes finds herself failing miserably (and humorously).

“Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason” (also based on Fielding’s novel of the same name) begins where the original film left off.

Jones and Darcy are happily in love. Soon, however, the couple starts having problems. And, sure enough, Cleaver is there to help Jones pick up the pieces.

The love triangle and problems that stem from the battle between Cleaver and Darcy provoke a sense of deja vu. Every problem Jones encounters this time was already met and solved in the first movie.

One of the film’s stabs at innovation comes at the expense of the obese (or, rather, the mock-obese, because Jones’ often-mentioned weight of 132 pounds is hardly gargantuan.) Crassly homophobic comments also add a disturbing dimension to the sequel.

“Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason” falls into many of the traps that most sequel-makers seem powerless to avoid; so many, in fact, that it becomes less a sequel and more an inept, unsophisticated remake.