Movie Review: ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’
Director: Sharon Maguire
Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones, Emma Thompson
Plot: Turning 43 and still single, Bridget Jones is still trying to define her role in the world. After a music festival fling with a charming American, Jack, and an encounter with old flame Mark Bridget finds herself pregnant but unsure who the father is.
Review: Oh, bloody hell…how did I wind up here? I’m standing in a large crowd of women walking the pink carpet for the conclusion to a movie series I have no connection with. I didn’t like the first films because…well, they’re not for me. I’m a 30 something pasty male nerd. But there’s free champagne so let’s drink two (or eight) of those and go for it.
To divert for a moment, the first thing that jumps out is how different Zellweger looks. Now we’re not stupid, we know that she’d aged over the almost decade since the last film and the tabloids have been making a big fuss over the work she’s had or not had done. What makes this especially jarring though is that we’d just walked past giant movie posters where she looks nothing like she does in the movie. The poor woman has been airbrushed into a mannequin on the posters and she looks great in the film. Zellweger is an attractive woman playing a character who is turning 43, trying to pass her off as being in her 20s on the poster isn’t going to make or break the film.
Anyway, we rejoin Jones at the funeral of Daniel where she is reunited with the married Mark Darcy. She sets out to enjoy her life regardless and meets Jack, an American who turns out to be Mr. Perfect. The conflict comes in that she doesn’t know who the father of her child is, how to break the news to the two eager potential new fathers and feeling threatened by the new, modern thinking managers at work. The film takes shots at many new trends, most noticeably hipsters with beards and topknots. There’s also some slightly out of date gags based on Pussy Riot and that cab driver who was accidentally interviewed.
All of these with enjoyably silly, but the real value is in the lead actors. Zellweger, Firth and Dempsey are all highly charismatic performers who wear their roles like gloves. They all have strong chemistry and solid comedic timing and you’ll have to be a pretty dreary character not to laugh along with their mishaps and misunderstandings. We had plenty of fun with these people. We would have loved to see more of Emma Thompson who added some very welcome classic British humour. We all love Emma Thompson.
In order to get a proper read I did take a lady friend along to get a read on the intended audience reaction, and she certainly enjoyed it more than I did. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, there were plenty of laughs to be had and it’s got more value than most films in the genre. Solid work.
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN