This book to film comparison contains spoilers.
I have to say, I didn’t enjoy The Edge of Reason novel all that much. A lot of Bridget’s antics and silliness either make me anxious or make me extraordinarily frustrated. The Edge of Reason movie follows its source material even less closely than its predecessor and so creates a hybrid that shares only a few key plot points. Once again, the plot has been simplified and condensed, and the focus has been shifted solely to Bridget and her romantic life.
Apart from a brief mention in the Bridget Jones’s Diary movie, Jude’s boyfriend Vile Richard has been completely ignored. Jude herself plays only a very minor role in this movie; there is no mention of her marrying Vile Richard or the rift it causes between her and Bridget.
Instead, Bridget’s parents decide to renew their vows in the movie, giving a nod to their rocky relationship in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Since this storyline has become only a slight blip on the radar, it makes sense to have a more easily explained ‘wedding’ in the movie rather than focusing on Jude’s possibly toxic relationship.
Thailand, TV, and Daniel Cleaver
Book Bridget’s role with Sit Up Britain is never expanded to include The Smooth Guide or any interaction with Daniel Cleaver. In fact, Cleaver plays a very minor—almost negligible—part in the book. Following the popularity of his movie character, it’s understandable that Hugh Grant would return to reprise the role. Ultimately, his presence in the movie does bring everything back to Bridget’s tangled love life and keeps the simplified plot on track.
The trip to Thailand in the book is simply a disastrous holiday for Bridget and Shazzer from start to finish. While Book Bridget is arrested for accidental possession of drugs, her time in prison is not nearly as cheerful or enlightening as it is in the movie. She spends a large amount of her time trying to get the Assistant to the Consul to do his job, and the rest of it fixated on Mark.
Though Mark works behind the scenes in the book to get Bridget out of jail, he doesn’t fly to Bangkok to see her, instead spending his time focused on catching Jed in Dubai. His involvement in the events is unclear to Bridget until she returns home but Daniel Cleaver at least is not mixed up in everything so things become less convoluted.
The climax of the movie is, for the most part, Bridget’s time spent in jail and her race to find Mark after discovering that he might still love her. It’s simple, straightforward, and effective. The book, on the other hand, follows a different subplot and the true climax comes when Bridget receives a death threat from a guy she hired to renovate her apartment. Everything makes sense in the book but it does ultimately feel like The Edge of Reason is telling a few separate stories that have somehow become jumbled together.
The character of Rebecca has been completely altered for the movie. In the novel, she is a friend of Bridget’s who somehow meets Mark and ends up in a relationship with him through some forceful yet effective means. In one memorable scene from the movie, we meet Janey Osbourne, the ‘jellyfisher’. In the book, this was actually an encounter with Rebecca and it pretty much sums up her personality: completely unlikeable. Book Rebecca does actually pose a threat to Bridget and ensures that she is an obstacle in their relationship.
In the movie, Rebecca is a sweet young colleague of Mark’s and, armed with some bad advice, Bridget immediately assumes they are having an affair.
While some misleading body language might support Bridget’s claims, Movie Rebecca turns out to be a lesbian with a crush on Bridget. Her character is thereby instantly excused of all imagined wrongdoing and presents no real complication in Mark and Bridget’s relationship.
The multitude of complications in The Edge of Reason novel, which deals with current affairs as well as Bridget’s own life, means that the narrative has a tendency to meander. Ultimately, it was too long for my liking and, as I’ve said, Bridget’s overly casual and often idiotic behaviour is at times cringe-worthy. I have to say that I prefer the movie of The Edge of Reason to the book. Formulaic though they are, events flow smoothly and the simplified plot is satisfying from a viewer’s perspective.