Thursday 2 February 2017

Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget Jones is back again in the third film of the franchise, ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’, and it’s been a long time coming. Directed by the original director of the series, Sharon Maguire, this third film doesn’t initially make sense if you’ve already read Helen Fielding’s latest book ‘Mad About The Boy’, as the two have very little in common. We seem to be somewhere in between that and ‘The Edge of Reason’ though – way after the times of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), but before Bridget has settled down with a family.

Now 43, Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is still single when all her other friends have moved forward with their lives. Shazzer (Sally Phillips) and Jude (Shirley Henderson) both have babies, and even Tom (James Callis) is about to adopt a “gayby”, as he calls it. After being stood up by all of her friends on her birthday due to family-related reasons, Bridget decides to give in to the pressures of her friend and coworker Miranda (Sarah Solemani) and try to get laid.

The location in question for such an event is a music festival, and Bridget does in fact find the victim, Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey) – billionaire founder of dating website Qwantify - after accidentally stumbling into his tent into the middle of the night. Bridget leaves without seeing him again but, during a christening that same week, accidentally bumps into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), her ex-boyfriend who she thought to be married. It turns out he isn’t, and the two spend the night together. Fast forward three months and Bridget finds out she’s pregnant from that very week… Except she can’t be sure which one is the father.

The plot is actually quite a similar set-up to the first film, except of course that instead of Darcy and Cleaver vying for Bridget (Cleaver is now presumed dead in this one following a plane crash), we now have Darcy and Jack fighting to be the father of Bridget’s unborn child. The competition certainly doesn’t disappoint as the pair are hilarious together and provide plenty of laughs as they both support Bridget with her journey to motherhood. The slapstick is also on point like the previous films, with several scenes so funny that you can’t help but laugh out loud. It’s good that it’s still in the same spirit as the other two – yes, there are clichés and rather obvious funny scenes (of course Bridget is going to get covered in mud if she wears all white to a festival), but it still works. 

Patrick Dempsey is probably my favourite addition to the film but Emma Thompson gives a hilariously droll performance as Bridget’s doctor, and also contributed towards the script. Old characters don’t disappoint either – Darcy’s just as refined and middle class as before, and Bridget’s mother is still obsessed with her daughter’s lack of settling down (though slightly more lenient of “most homosexuals and Italians”).

At the start of the film it feels a bit like a bad idea, but once you’re half an hour or so into to it the fun really starts. It’s not as entertaining as ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, but proves to be nice addition to a franchise that has become the definition of British romantic comedy. 


Hannah Read

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