Helen Fielding is hard at work on the third installment of Bridget Jones's Diary. That's fine with me. I loved the first book, and its movie version.
Not to mention that enough time has passed to make the sequel's rushed-to-cinema-in-a-mere-three-years-I'm-joking-folks mistakes a passing memory. I have no problem revisiting enjoyable characters. Just be sure to give them a dash of realistic conflict, and sprinkle scintilating dialogue liberally throughout. Helen and her gang (director and gal pal Sharon Malone, screenwriters Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis) are great at that.
This time around, however, Renee Zellweger, the actress who's name is synonymous with the lead role, has begged off packing on the pounds to play up Bridget's renowned weight issue. "I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you long term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time," the London Daily Mail quotes her as saying.
She's absolutely right.
But does that make for good cinema?
Granted, we love Bridget because she is us: lovable, albeit flawed, but let's look at it another way: it's been fifteen years since the book hit the shelves, and ten years since the first movie was released. I'd like to think that a smart gal like Bridget would have grown in so many ways--
Not necessarily around her waistline.
Perhaps she'd have finally conquered that issue. Or maybe she's traded it in for the stress that comes with balancing a relationship with a career, not to mention aging parents and the desire to have children.
As it turns out, that just so happens to be the hook for the new movie's plot: that Bridget can't have children with Mark...and turns to Daniel.
Sometimes a too-thin physique can weaken a woman's ability to make the necessary hormones and/or ovulate, hindering her from having children. Perhaps that could be written into the plot?
But Renee already has her Academy Award: for her best supporting actress turn in Cold Mountain. That was payback for passing her over as best actress in Rob Marshall's brilliant adaptation of the musical Chicago.
Those roles were golden. Bridget is just (nonfat) icing on a great slice of life. What a wonderful body of work
What a wonderful body, period,