As you may have heard, Bridget Jones is back…but things have changed quite a bit since we last saw her.
Bridget Jone’s Baby is the third film in the popular franchise, combining the writing talents of Helen Fielding (author of Bridget Jones’s Diary), Dan Mazer (co-writer of Borat and Bruno), and British screen gem Emma Thompson, along with director Sharon Maguire, who helmed the first film. I hope this dynamic team are toasting to one another’s genius right now, because not only have they achieved the near impossible — a highly enjoyable sequel — but they’ve also added depth, realism and some damn interesting perspective to the romantic comedy genre.
Bridget (Renée Zellweger) is still running her mouth at hilariously awkward times and keeping a diary, but third time’s a charm for the eternal dieter. Fans of the famous British character should be as happy as I was to see Bridget living a fulfilling and successful life, having reached her ideal weight and earned a top position as a television news producer. But it wouldn’t be a Bridget Jones film without complications, and this one brings it in spades with an unplanned pregnancy and two potential fathers in Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget’s now-ex partner, and Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), an impossibly gorgeous and sweet new suitor.
Zellweger is as charming as always, hitting every comedic note as only a pro can. But seeing the actress back in her most famous role is more than just nostalgia — it’s treat. Bridget deals with some pretty heavy issues here, which Zellweger has approached with real warmth, making the film’s central message all the more relatable and beautiful to discover. Rather than solely concentrating on who’s the father and who she is meant to be with, Bridget is far more concerned with keeping her child’s best interest at heart.
But that’s not to say the romance wasn’t swoon-worthy, because dear god my feelings were all over the place. Firth is still bringing that irreplaceable presence and brooding charisma to the role of Mark Darcy, and audiences will quickly fall in love with him all over again. While Hugh Grant is’t back as playboy Daniel Cleaver, his character is certainly not forgotten, and the revelation of his fate will have you laughing uncontrollably. New to the leading cast is Patrick Dempsey as Jack Qwant, who manages to simultaneously sweep the audience and Bridget off their feet, offering plenty of the film’s laughs in the process.
Special mention must go to my two favourites in the film: Emma Thompson as Dr. Rawling, who is always there to make the awkwardness of Bridget’s situation that much more hilarious to watch, and Sarah Solemani as Miranda, who is a formidable and unforgettable presence as Bridget’s friend and co-worker.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is no silly sequel. In fact, it might just be my favourite of the franchise.