½*/**** Image B Sound B+ Extras C+
starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent
screenplay by Andrew Davies and Helen Fielding and Richard Curtis and Adam Brooks, based on the novel by Fielding
directed by Beeban Kidron
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. The gusto with which a certain audience will guffaw at Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (henceforth Bridget Jones 2)--will buffet each other on the back in robust bonhomie at a joke well told and a prejudice indulged in appropriate company--says all there really is to say about the class schism that the film itself broaches but stops short of actually addressing. (If you squint, you can see them rendered satiric as swine in top hats, smoking cheap cigars and playing cards in their pearls and print dresses.) We reunite with our porcine heroine (Renée Zellweger) a little more than a month after the end of the first film, at which point she's shagged her new boyfriend Darcy (Colin Firth) a lot but remains saddled with her suspicions that he's a prick. He's a lawyer, see, and clearly too good for her, so Bridget, as is her wont, proceeds to embarrass herself in polite stuffed-shirt company, scoffing at the prig who suggests that giving to charity is bad and pretending to be able to ski whilst wrapped in a dreadful pink jumper. The resulting delightfully-patronizing humiliations are the sort of thing generally installed as the engine in romance novels, the main audience for which is one that looks like Bridget, is probably ten years older, and would be surprised to see that, were a film ever actually made of their fantasy projection of themselves onto the heroine role of their little pulp bodice-rippers, would look just as preposterous as Bridget Jones 2.