Bridget Jones’s Baby, 2016.
Directed by Sharon Maguire.
Starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Sally Phillips, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sarah Solemani and Emma Thompson.
Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.
After a year of unnecessary sequels I was sceptical going in to watch Bridget Jones’s Baby. The first film is pure brilliance whilst the Edge of Reason was supremely awful. Bridget Jones’s Baby is a worthy successor and the sequel that we deserved.
Bridget is now 43 years old and still single. Instead of the man obsessed loveable wreck from the first film Bridget has taken charge of her life, has a great job, friends and doesn’t need a man. In the opening scene Bridget’s sitting in her same old flat listening to All By Myself. After a verse or two she promptly tells it to “Fuck Off” and dances around to Jump Around by House of Pain instead. From the opening you can tell that this film is going to take Bridget in a new direction. After a one night stand with Jack (Dempsey) at a music festival and a drunken sexual encounter with ex Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget finds herself pregnant and not sure who the father is.
The plot of Bridget Jones’s Baby is outlandish, convenient and silly but that doesn’t stop it from being extremely entertaining. The first film was a rarity in the rom-com genre as it was actually genuinely funny. Original director Sharon Maguire brings the same energy she did to the first film and there’s a perfect blend of comedy and romance. The ending does veer towards over sentimentality, but would it be a Bridget film if it didn’t? There is laugh out loud moments throughout from sarcastic one liners, to pratfalls and an amusing use of a revolving door…
Seeing Zellweger as the titular singleton was like hanging out with an old friend. After a 6 year absence from the screen, she’s slipped right back into Bridget’s skin and her comedic timing and her ability to take the piss out of herself never fails to entertain. Similarly Colin Firth gets to add a lot more depth to Mr Darcy then in the previous two outings; delving much more into his feelings for Bridget and what he wants from life. Replacing Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver (whose absence is hilariously explained) is Patrick Dempsey as mathematician/dating guru Jack Qwant. Dempsey is perfectly serviceable as the hunky American rival but there isn’t that much substance to his character and he comes off as bland. The supporting cast are on fine form although it would have been nicer to spend some more time with them. Jim Broadbent gets a couple of great scenes but I wanted to see more of him. The scene stealer is Emma Thompson as Bridget’s doctor. She’s hilarious in every scene, has tons of great one liners and cuts through some of the overly emotional parts of the story.
Bridget Jones has been analysed to death. Is she a feminist icon, is she taking feminism back into the dark ages etc etc. With the third outing, the writers try to evolve Bridget and make her into a 21st Century woman. She’s career driven, self-reliant and although the men in her life are important, it seems that she’s less dependent on them then she would have been 15 years ago. The question over who is the father of Bridget’s baby is almost irrelevant by the end of the film; instead focusing on relationship development and friendship. It’s a surprisingly mature viewpoint for a film that is considered a “chick flick”.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★