Bridget Jones’s Baby makes for fun viewing but just falls short of the high standards set by the previous Bridget Jones films
Bridget Jones’s Baby has undoubtedly been a hotly anticipated film with women across the country waiting to be reunited with their best friend after more than a decade apart. The story follows Bridget, now aged 40-something, having split with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) with a new handsome man in her life (Patrick Dempsey), and in classic hopeless Bridget style, unintentionally pregnant.
The film unfolds as she tries to come to terms with impending single motherhood and having to navigate the turbulent waters of having two potential fathers of her unborn child, one of whom when we last saw her, she was deeply and madly in love with. The film effectively used flashbacks to aid in jogging our memory of these moments of Bridget’s younger life. However it did not feel as though we were inundated with them, which meant that this film was able to stand on its own without having to rely on the previous two.
Renée Zellweger accurately portrays a middle-aged Bridget—who has maintained that brilliant British accent—still with her endearing, waddling walk but with a more mature and well put-together image. Zellweger’s co-stars, too, offered superb performances. Colin Firth maintained Mark Darcy’s serious and awkward demeanor and Patrick Dempsey, despite essentially replacing Hugh Grant—it did feel there was a slight void left by Grant’s absence in this film—managed to hold his own as the very attractive but ultimately, slightly irritating and self involved competing love interest.
No fight scene between two men will be as funny as the one with Grant and Firth in the first Bridget Jones film, as they so captured the hilarious and slightly tragic desperation of two well-to-do, grown British men trying to assert their testosterone-fulled dominance in attempting to win a woman’s heart, but Dempsey and Firth still managed to portray the jealously between the two of them and the cringeworthy way in which they went about trying to charm Bridget.
It was especially beneficial that the film was well-acted because in many places the script fell short and the writing did feel slightly lazy. As per any Bridget Jones film, there were great declarations of love and honesty which in the previous films had, although very sentimental, been well written and evoked true emotion in the audience watching. But this time round, it seems the same could not always be said—this may be because Richard Curtis was not a writer on this film as he was on the first two and he is expert when it comes to well written, ‘genuine’, emotional sentimentality.
Having said this, this film was by no means a flop—as has been the case with other recent comeback films such as Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie—or even a bad film. It made the audience laugh out loud and really, genuinely cry by the end. It did not exceed any expectations but it certainly fulfilled them. It was a truly heartwarming film and one which has left many audiences falling back in love with Bridget once again.