In 2000, when Renée Zellweger was first cast as Bridget Jones—the original chick-lit singleton—the actress drew a chorus of criticism. She wasn’t British, funny, or chubby enough. But Zellweger beat the buzz, pulling in $280 million worldwide as the bumbling Everygal in granny panties. That total had Miramax clamoring for a sequel, but Zellweger needed convincing. She insists that she didn’t want to “repeat myself,” having never done a sequel. “That’s an interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it?” she muses, “to repeat yourself, and create a situation that you’ve never experienced before and might never again.”
At the very least, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason should deliver for the romantic-comedy audience—a demographic seriously deprived since Julia Roberts went selective and solemn. Fortunately, the film has a deft comedienne in Zellweger, and is guaranteed (thanks to the screenplay’s loose interpretation) to be better than the book. Expect antics on an Austrian ski slope and the return of Hugh Grant’s rogue Daniel. As for the book’s worrisome scene where Bridget goes to jail in Thailand, Zellweger demurs, saying only, “I can tell you this: I had an extraordinarily deep tan and massive, massive sun rash for a few weeks in January.”
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Universal; November 19.