November 15, 2004

Back With Bridget

Bridget Jones' DiaryEven with family visiting, Cinecultist still was able to work in two movies. But then again, that's what happens when you have two California visitors in New York during a cold, rainy, windy November weekend. In the Saturday afternoon screening at Kips Bay of Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason, it was chick lit city, so we fit right in. We weren't really looking to see if there were any fellows in the audience, but our guess would be nary a one. Which is fine really, unless a movie wants to venture outside of its expectations for a niche audience, a goal this Bridget Jones installment doesn't appear to have.

CC's a big, big fan of the first novel and thus, it's difficult to evaluate the movie as purely a film. Everything we tend to think and write about this movie lapses into literary criticism, so if that's not your bag, forgive us.

BJD is a redux of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Marriageable and witty young woman meets stuffy, uptight man at party and instantly hates him. He doesn't find her attractive either. She also meets another rogueish young man, who is not a suitable match but charming. He treats her poorly. Young woman's family member commits social faux pas, uptight man swoops in to help thus winning the heart of the witty woman.

While The Edge of Reason, the follow up novel to the wildly successful BJD, wasn't as good it still had things going for it, namely the plot's redux of Persuasion, another classic Jane Austen story. However, the movie version has jettisoned that structure in favor of the salacious plot points like the silly trip to Thailand (which we guess was intended by author Helen Fielding to satrize the runaway success of another British novel turned movie, The Beach) and a reappearance of Hugh Grant. However as lovely as he is, a Bridget fan can not live on Hugh alone. (Sidenote -- has Hugh's chest always been so hairless? V. noticable on the Today show interview with a twitter-pated Katie Couric this morning. Check with Four Weddings to be sure.)

There's no meta to The Edge of Reason, no further purpose of being besides more silliness on the part of Renee Zellweger -- prat falls, weight gain, lesbian kissing, etc. It's tough to convince people that appreciation of the rom com as a genre in literature and cinema is worthy of inquiry when this is the drivel the industry puts out. Sure, the movie had a few laughs but in the end for CC that's just not enough.

Posted by karen at November 15, 2004 8:34 AM