Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Length:
1 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Featuring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jacinda Barrett, Jim Broadbent
Director: Beeban Kidron
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Cavendish
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
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Relevant Issues
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Relationship issues
Learn how to make your love the best it can be.

“Same Bridget. Brand new diary.”

Bridget Jones is back! She is back and unlike most sequels, I think that true fans of Bridget will not be disappointed.

The story begins exactly one year after the original movie began; taking us back, once again, to Bridget’s mother’s dreaded turkey curry buffet. It starts much the same, with a similar narrative, similar musical intro, similar scene, etc. When Bridget (Reneé Zellweger) “bumps” into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) things are entirely different though, as this time, he is her boyfriend. From that point the story takes it’s viewers on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, highlighting Bridget’s impulsive decisions, insecurities, secret thoughts and all of the other things that make the character of Bridget Jones so dear.

I won’t go into too much detail about the happenings; the plot is very much the same as the original. Bridget trying to find and secure the “love of her life,” as that is truthfully where she sees her worth. I personally loved this film and laughed out loud a lot. However, this movie is rated R, and I did rate it as “offensive” for good reason. This movie is most definitely NOT for children or teenagers. It is a film made for mature adults. It is based in Britain, and the culture there is much more relaxed than here in the U.S. The language, alone, in this movie, would have earned it an R rating, and that is simply for profanity. There was too much to count. There were over a dozen uses of the Lord’s name in vain, and a couple of derogatory remarks made about Christians. The nudity in this movie was less then the first and pretty minimal, including one brief scene of a Thai escort. There were no actual sex scenes, however, talk of “shagging” or comments about that or body parts pretty much made up 50% of the script. There is one scene of accidental drug use, and a scene where cocaine is shown. Overall, this movie is not at all for those easily offended by language or vulgarity.

Being a fan of Helen Fielding’s novels, one of my concerns was how closely this screenplay would actually follow the storyline of the book. For those who have read it, and then seen the trailer, it will be no surprise that the character of Daniel Cleaver was written into the movie version of “the edge of reason.” Other then that though, it was a very well done adaptation that I was surprised by, as well as pleased. It is my opinion that Reneé Zellweger is one of the most spectacularly gifted actresses of our time, and Colin Firth is very talented as well. They have beautiful chemistry on screen and are very entertaining to watch individually as well as together. The music was was strongly chosen and a fair fit, although I think it is incomparable to the soundtrack of the first film.

In 1998, the novel “Bridget Jones Diary” took women by storm. Unexpectedly it became a best seller all over the world, not just in the UK. In 2001, it was released as a movie and now 3 years later we have the highly anticipated sequel. Many have felt, with the book and the first film, that it’s content werer highly offensive. It will be the same with the sequel. The story is based in England and in a secular world where casual sex, drunkenness and profanity is rampantly a way of life. The reason that the character of Bridget Jones is loved by so many women is because many women can identify with her. With her insecurities, the ways she is always being made not only to feel like a fool but to rather publicly look like one, too—her loneliness and isolation, despite how much she gives of herself. For many women, when you strip away the mundane details and “other faces” that surround the life of bad luck Bridget, they see someone who resembles themselves. That is why I believe that if you loved the first film, then from the beginning watching this movie may have the feel of sitting down with a dear friend whom you have not seen in ages.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Another viewpoint

by Guest Reviewer Lucy Pinnington (United Kingdom)

Moral Rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3

This movie lets us see that a “happily ever after” future is not guaranteed for insecure young women in a post-modern relationship. In this new film, Bridget is now the blissful girlfriend of Mark Darcy and enjoying every day (and especially night) of their affair.

But there are thorns in her bed of roses: Daniel Cleaver is on the scene and wants Bridget to work with him, Bridget has to try to adapt to sharing Mark’s life and friends, and her insecurity, jealousy and emotional immaturity threaten to spoil her happiness. And relationship problems become the least of Bridget’s concerns when the feeling she has always had that something bad is about to happen comes true.

Bridget’s idea of happiness is not one which most Christians will share. The movie dwells on the physical aspects of Bridget and Mark’s relationship and sex is shown as the best thing about a relationship. The unmarried couple are often shown in bed, with the implication that they have been having intercourse, and there is a scene when Bridget takes a pregnancy test. There is also a lesbian kiss, a scene with a prostitute and lots of bouncy cleavage and implied nudity. Bridget’s uncle gropes her in a party scene.

The characters’ foul mouths are another reason for Christians to shun their company. There is frequent use of God’s name in vain as well as regular use of strong swear words.

The plot involves a scene of drug use, presented in a positive light and an incident where a character is arrested at gun point and thrown into a Thai jail. There is also a physical confrontation between Mark and Daniel which is funny in a slapstick way but suggests that rather than “turning the other cheek,” kicking and hitting one’s enemy is a far more satisfactory way to handle a argument. Bridget is often seen with a cigarette in her hand, gulping down alcohol to steady her nerves.

Bridget’s friends are shallow, and yet the friendships are shown as positive and nurturing. One friend conspires with a boy “young enough to be her grandson” to get Bridget to eat magic mushrooms without knowing it, and the same friend inadvertantly provokes an enormous crisis in Bridget’s life.

The sad thing is that Bridget’s life is essentially empty. She looks to Mark Darcy for her fulfillment and that doesn’t work for her, causing her anguish and turmoil. For a woman in her thirties, Bridget behaves more like a worldly teenager, making blunders socially, and behaving desperately in her search for love. Ultimately, Bridget is profoundly insecure: despite having sex with Mark, she dresses under a sheet to hide her body from him; she believes he is having an affair with a young woman he works with and climbs onto his roof to spy on him; she wants him to “fight for her.” If Bridget could know the deep and lasting peace that comes from a living relationship with Jesus, her life would be so much better: no longer looking for approval from rotters like Daniel Cleaver, no longer misusing her body with drugs and tobacco, no longer full of insecurity and worries, no longer looking to sex for fulfilment. Bridget’s life seems empty and fundamentally lonely.

On a positive note, Bridget is showing growing emotionally during the film. She makes a decision to remain loyal to Mark even though they have parted after a quarrel. She does her best to be true to her own opinions and beliefs in circumstances when it would be easier to lie. She learns that whatever Mark’s faults they are minor compared to the faults of other men, and so comes to “count her blessings.” In some really heart-warming scenes, she shows great love and friendship to some unfortunate women she meets in Thailand. Bridget’s parents renew their wedding vows in a symbolic cementing of their union and marriage and motherhood is seen as a highly desireable goal for Bridget and something she longs for.

The film ends in a winter wonderland mood, with Bridget feeling happy and hopeful about her future; sadly, she is still pinning her hopes on a man and I left the cinema wishing for better for her. Bridget Jones is a sweet, loving and tender-hearted young woman and deserves a lasting and eternal happiness. I felt very fortunate to have met the Lord Jesus and my own husband at an early age, and to have been spared the turmoil Bridget goes through. Bridget is so charming and sweet that you want her to be happy, and watching this film doesn’t offer the certainty that she ever will be.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate


See our review of the original film in this series: Bridget Jones’s Diary


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Movie Critics
…better than the original… humorously ironic and post-modern, in the way it deliberately sends itself up as unrealistic…
—Christopher Tookey, The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
…whether you liked or disliked the last film, you’ll like this one much less…
—Annabelle Robertson, CrossWalk
…often seems like a less-successful remake…
—Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…only rises above the schlock when it recalls the charisma of “Bridget Jones’s Diary”…
—Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune
…repeating many gags from the previous film. Only now they feel lame and routine… The characters are still great, but a pitiful story shows too much strain…
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter