BRIDGET Jones is a love pariah no more!

Thirty-something, career-minded, neurotic, cigarette-puffing singleton Bridget (Renee Zellweger) has finally snagged the man of her dreams: the dashing and impeccably refined lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).

Her burgeoning television career, as a gung-ho reporter on Sit Up Britain for her heartless, ratings-obsessed boss Richard Finch (Neil Pearson), is going from strength to strength.

Bridget's parents Pam (Gemma Jones) and Colin (Jim Broadbent) even seem to be getting along for a change. Could life be any more perfect?

But after six glorious weeks with her seemingly flawless beau, Bridget realises that her journey of self-discovery is just beginning.

Mark seems reluctant to pop the question and he is spending an alarming amount of time with his new colleague, Rebecca Gillies (Jacinda Barrett).

Fearful that Rebecca may be plotting to steal Mark, Bridget seeks counsel from her coven of loyal friends Shazzer (Sally Phillips), Jude (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (James Callis), whose well-intentioned yet stunningly bad advice compels Bridget to confronts Mark.

He denies any wrongdoing but during the ensuing spat, Bridget breaks off their relationship and heads for Thailand to co-present a new travel show entitled The Smooth Guide with her former boss, suave charmer Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).

The tropical location and overwhelming sense of loneliness re-ignite Bridget's attraction to Daniel and she contemplates allowing him a second peek at her big pants.

Fate intervenes and shows Bridget the meandering path to true love, but not before a brief spell in a cramped Thai prison.

Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason continues the comical travails of the eponymous, saggy-bottomed heroine, as chronicled in Helen Fielding's best-seller of the same name.

Zellweger rediscovers her plummy English accent and curvaceous figure and flings herself with gusto into the comedic set pieces, including a hilarious out-of-control slalom down an Austrian mountain.

She ensures that Bridget is a clumsy, loveable and exasperating as ever.

Screenwriters Andrew Davies, Fielding, Richard Curtis and Adam Brooks have remained faithful to the spirit of the book but have altered certain sections.

In particular, Daniel now enjoys a key role in Bridget's journey of self-discovery, played to scene-stealing comic perfection by Grant.

As befits his role, Firth is rather stuffy and emotionally cold by comparison.

However, the sequel is essentially a thinly-veiled retread of the first film, including close-ups of Bridget's bottom, a Jones family Christmas, and fisticuffs involving Mark and Daniel, this time in and around the Italian fountains in Hyde Park.

At times, The Edge Of Reason is achingly, disappointingly familiar but the meticulous comic timing of Zellweger and Grant just about save the day.

RATING: 7/10