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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (review)

Stupid Bint

Bridget Jones, the stupid bint, is an embarrassment to my entire gender: she’s shallow, petty, irrational, self-obsessed, neurotic, immature, totally devoid of character, simultaneously smug and completely lacking in self-confidence, in constant need of stroking and reassurance, and she expects men to be able to read her mind and bend to her every whim. She is the kind of woman who gives women a bad name. In fact, she doesn’t even deserve to be called a woman: she’s a girl, a child.
So naturally, Bridget Jones, the stupid bint, is a sex symbol. Thanks a bunch, Helen Fielding, for setting back the cause of womanhood about a hundred years.

“I’m a mature, professional, sophisticated woman,” Bridget tells herself during her 15,023rd moment of crisis in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, to which the only possible response is, Um, no, Bridge, you’re not. She’s barely gotten it on with superhot Mark Darcy (the delicious Colin Firth: Love Actually, Girl with a Pearl Earring) — whose barrister’s wig she is not worthy to powder; god only knows what he sees in her — before she’s fucking it up: accusing him of having an affair with another woman, getting drunk and behaving like a twat around his coworkers, and just generally acting like the shallow, petty, irrational, et cetera, et cetera woman-child that she is. Any woman with half a brain could damn well see that Mark is perfect — not “flawless” perfect but “scrumptiously infuriating in a way that makes you want to kill him when you aren’t making mad passionate love to him” perfect.

But of course she can’t help herself, can she? It is the curse of all us girly types to be absolutely hormonal-driven basket cases when we’re in love, right? Arrrrgggghhhh. Why not just lace us all back up in corsets and shuffle us off to finishing school while we’re at it? Cuz Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason — the far edge, the over-the-edge side of the edge — is nothing but a celebration of women-as-morons, aren’t-they-cute?

No woman of normal mental capacity — and Bridget is nothing if not spectacularly average — would fail to realize that she hasn’t had her period in eight weeks. Not even if she was shagging Colin Firth nonstop the whole time. Especially if she was shagging anyone nonstop the whole time. Stupid bint.

Things go badly with Mark, of course — because how could there possibly be drama or comedy in the grownup conundrum of two mature, sophisticated, independent people trying to make a relationship work? — and soon Bridget is wandering singly again, fantasizing about her gravestone reading “Bridget Jones: Spinster.” Spinster? Jesus. Spinster? Is this fucking 1875 or something? Have we not crossed the threshold into the 21st century? Is Bridget Jones, the stupid bint, actually an insidious plot by Bob Jones and Ralph Reed and/or the Islamofascists to deny women the right to personhood except through their husbands?

Of course, the upside of total subjugation of half the population is that no one looks fat in a burka, and then maybe the world — and by that I mean Hollywood movies and People magazine — would just shut the fuck up about how “fat” women are who have soft curves and round breasts and the childbearing padding that is supposed to make us appealing to men in the first place. Someone needs to tell Renée Zellweger (Shark Tale, Cold Mountain) that she looks like an actual adult female here (even if she doesn’t act like one) but that she looked like a little boy in Chicago.

Anyway, after a brief romantic detour with her former boss, the arrogant but oh-so charming Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant: Two Weeks Notice, About a Boy) — another example of a man any thinking gal would let herself be driven crazy by, in all senses of the phrase — Bridget is back moping for Mark again. “What do I gotta do to make you love me?” wonders the faux-hip retro 70s pop soundtrack as Bridget walks in the sad rain or something, to which the only possible response is: 1) Stop acting like a complete twit, for starters, and 2) Maybe develop an actual personality like a real woman might have.

But this is a fairly unlikely prospect for a person who, in all seriousness, likens “being single in London” to getting thrown into a Thai prison for drug smuggling. (That a supposedly fluffy romantic comedy like this one takes a detour into a Thai prison is but one of its appalling aspects.) I’m mortified at the possibility that someone may think that Bridget Jones bears any remote resemblance to me merely because we’re both female, thirtysomething, and weigh more than 98 pounds. I don’t know who decided that Bridget Jones is somehow the quintessential modern woman, and he’d better make sure he never meets me in a dark alley. I’m not her, I don’t know anyone like her, and I don’t want to know anyone like her. The stupid bint.


MPAA: rated R for language and some sexual content

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

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