Bridget Jones – on the edge of reason

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. With Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth. Director: Beeban Kidron (1:48)

The inevitable sequel to the successful romantic comedy is full of runaway sentimentality, product placement and true love, making it a movie people – but not critics – will adore

The team behind Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason seems to have been thinking along the lines of: look, we’ve had a hit with it once – we’ll muddle through a second helping. Talking of which, Renée Zellweger as Bridget looks as if she’s had second helpings of everything for the past six months, though she handles the extra poundage if not with grace then certainly with professionalism.

Renee Zellweger’s weight gain for her role in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), subsequent loss and regain for Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason — to be released in theaters on Friday — has been plastered all over the entertainment press.

And the words of the critic shall fall upon deaf ears. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is an almost exclusively shameful exercise in squeezing the very last drops of a successful romantic comedy into a brazenly formulaic sequel.

There is really no justification for its existence, other than the fact it will make many people at least temporarily very happy, and $100 million into the bargain.

New York, Nov. 12 — Liza Minnelli’s former bodyguard and chauffeur is suing the singer for sexual harassment. Manhattan Supreme Court papers say M’hammed Soumayah, 56, claims that Minnelli forced him to have sex with her.

Soumayah also claims Minnelli threatened to fire him from his lucrative $238,000-a-year job if he didn’t comply.

M’hammed Soumayah is seeking more than $100 million in damages from the lawsuit, and is also accusing the singer of “intentional assault and battery.” Minnelli, 58, said the allegations have caused her “a great deal of personal distress and pain.”