A heart-warming and witty return.
It’s been a whole 12 years since The Edge of Reason. Whilst I can’t say I’ve longed for Bridget to return to our screens, I’ve been rather guiltily looking forward to the latest instalment. Bridget Jones’s Diary became almost a cultural phenomenon, so it’s hard not to expect a bit of hype behind Baby.
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger), now single and career focused, finds herself pregnant. Although she’s happy, there’s one little issue – the father could be either Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) or newcomer Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey).
Some of you may be wondering; where is Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant)? It’s an answer I shan’t reveal, you’ll just have to wait and see. All I can say is he’s not around. Thankfully, we have a Patrick Dempsey to fill his absence. Whilst you’ll find it hard to picture his character and Bridget together – also due to the enduring chemistry between Zellwegger and Firth – Dempsey’s enthusiastic performance has to be commended. It’s just a shame his overly-nice-if-only-slightly-irritating American take is something all too familiar.
Zellweger has dived back into the role seamlessly, bringing Bridget to life better than ever. Watching her tumble her way through a rather chaotic pregnancy is an absolute joy. This is thanks to both Zellweger and the return of Sharon Maguire, director of the first film. Maguire clearly gets Bridget; which is evident in an opening that will feel like home for fans of the series.
The story itself is a rather simple one, but that doesn’t mean it can’t fall victim to plot holes. We know Jack Quant is a billionaire, but that’s never really touched on again. Bridget’s new horrifically obnoxious boss realistically would never get the job she has. But you’ll be too busy laughing or crying to think about these things.
Aside from the main trio, there’s many old faces and newcomers. Bridget’s iconic parents are back, as well as her group of pals. One particularly welcome addition is Emma Thompson. Having actually created and written her role as Bridget’s doctor, she steals every scene she’s in with a cold wit that’s more relatable that you’d probably like to admit. She was without a doubt my favourite part of Baby, especially in a stand out scene where she advises the fathers to leave the room, as her ex referred to her giving birth as “watching his favourite pub burn down”).
The script hits all the right notes, and some utterly fantastic slapstick comedy brings out the big laughs – watch out for that revolving door. But it mustn’t be ignored that Bridget Jones’s Baby actually presents a noteworthy, pleasant message behind parenthood – no matter who the real parents are, it’s how you care for a child that matters.
To sum it up…
Fans of Bridget Jones need to get to the cinema right now! A fitting conclusion to the series, it’s warm, hilarious, and manages to make Bridget a relevant character even today. Don’t expect a Dempsey/Firth bout however.
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Author: Cameron Frew