What happened with Bridget Jones Edge of Reason?

I rather enjoyed the first Bridget Jones movie. I didn’t consider it any kind of masterpiece, or even the equal of your standard, good British romantic comedy, but it was just funny enough to be good, even if Renee Zellwegger seemed to be working very hard on her accent. (To be honest, the one thing that pushed the needle to the green for me was the moment that a Van Morrison song came on.) But, okay, fine.

However, I found Edge of Reason to be execrable, completely stupid, pointless, and insulting. The character of Bridget herself seemed to have become a complete moron.

I just finished reading the two books. Again, I found the first one better than the second (Bridget really did become a bit stupider in the second book), but the novel of the Edge of Reason wasn’t nearly as awful as the movie. And I noticed that the plot changes from book to movie were far more drastic with Edge of Reason than they were with the first movie?

So what happened? Why did they blow it so badly?

I think the problem is basically that the book was meant to be a one-shot story, not a series, and so it presented Bridget with a host of amusing character flaws & neuroses she overcame on her path to true love. The first movie, being reasonably faithful to the book, captured this. As a result, Bridget has to, in the second book, spontaneously un-learn all the things she learned in Diary–and if you’ve followed the first story, you’re left thinking, “well, aren’t you a silly bint.”

Well, I liked both the Bridget Jones books, but I see them a little differently than **Fabulous Creature does. I don’t think that both books are basically the same story, with Bridget unlearning the stuff she learned in book 1, in order to relearn it all in book 2. Book 1 was a retake on Pride & Prejudice, which it really follows quite closely – with Bridget learning to overcome her own prejudices. She thinks Mark Darcy is a hopeless stiff and she learns different – she doesn’t have to make any changes to herself to ‘get’ him, he likes her as is. The movie got that part right, BTW – what it got wrong, IMO, was that it left out the whole ending part in which Mark, right about the time that Bridget is starting to think that he isn’t such a stiff after all, rescues her and her family from a scandal. And Bridget learns that a competent, decent man can also be sexy.

The second book really is different – it is a retake on Persuasion. She doesn’t lose Mark through her own prejudices, but because she is persuaded against him by her friends. And, to win him back, she needs to learn to trust her own heart, and stop allowing herself to be so easily swayed by rumor and by her friends. The movie failed, IMO, because it abandoned the whole Persuasion storyline and just became, basically, a retelling of the first movie.

And I screwed up the coding on purpose, because that’s the kind of thing Bridget would do, see?

Bridget Jones never previews.

Mark Darcy, Mr. Darcy, both played by Colin Firth, and then Colin Firth himself appeared in the second novel!

Did Colin Firth take the role knowing that he himself was so prominently featured in the story? I can’t remember the order of the publications with respect to the movies. Had Edge of Reason been published when the first movie was made?