Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
dir. Kidron
Opens Fri Nov 12
Various Theaters

Romantic comedies are like fantastical sci-fi stories for women. It's always the same outlandish formula: Rich, handsome, emotionally mature men make fools out of themselves trying to win one seemingly average (but deep-down special) woman's heart.

Occasionally, even I--a heartless, drunken cynic--get suckered into romantic comedies' predictable tricks--sitting in the theater, tilting my head to one side, eyes welling up with tears, and wishing that life could be as perfect as in the movies--because after all, wouldn't it be wonderful?

Imagine it... tomorrow morning, while ordering a latte, you brush shoulders with some gorgeous international banker. Your eyes meet, you realize you're meant for each other, and by week's end, you've married and flown off to his mansion in Rio. Sigh.

But unless you want to bum everyone out, that's where the story has to end. Otherwise, romantic comedies would have to be reclassified as "actual relationship movies," and they'd show you, alone in Rio, being mugged on the street, all while workaholic Mr. Banker's gone for months at a time to Switzerland, where he's fucking the Christ out of some Swiss ski instructor. In real life, of course, the story would involve less money, fewer exotic locales, and uglier people--but you catch my drift.

In Bridget Jones: The Unnecessary Sequel, pathetic, ruddy-faced, obese loser Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) gets pissed off at her dashing lawyer beau, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), because he's--get this--too uptight. They break up, Bridget whines, smokes, stuffs her fat face, and almost hooks up with Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). Then we get back to the Bridget/Mark romantic crap and basically end up right where we were at the end of Bridget Jones's Diary: The Unnecessary Original, with Bridget looking pathetic, enormously fat, and disheveled, and Darcy proclaiming his eternal love.

Basically, plus and minus a few twists and turns, this is just a crappier version of the original movie, with painfully cheesy music. Bridget pines for love, trips over stuff, and eventually lands herself a hunk. Then the movie ends, because for a fat slob and a workaholic lawyer, even the audience knows that the story's all downhill from there.