Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
Director: Sharon Maguire
Running Time: 123 mins
Bridget Jones’ Baby is a British film and the third in the Bridget Jones series. Over ten years after her last series of mishaps with Mark Darcy, Bridget is now comfortable with her single life at the age of 43. That is until she unexpectedly discovers she’s pregnant, and with no idea which one of two men is the father.
There are few films that irritate me more than the original Bridget Jones’ Diary, and its sequel. Annoying, cheesy and dumb, I never found much enjoyment in them at all, which is the main reason why I was so surprised to like Bridget Jones’ Baby so much. Finally giving the character a likable and interesting persona, whilst also delivering comedy and romance in a confident and fresh way, fortunately moving away from the repetitive first two films, this is by far the best film of the whole series.
To start off, I think the most important reason this film is so enjoyable is because it’s totally different to the first two films. As much as I didn’t like them, I recognise a large audience did. However, 13 years later, it would have been insane to churn out the same formula once again, but I was delighted to see that director Sharon Maguire and writer Helen Fielding managed to provide a different experience.
With Bridget’s now more ‘mature’ and confident persona, this film doesn’t try to be another Pride And Prejudice parody full of awkward slips and mishaps. Yes, there are still a good few clumsy moments, but that’s a part of Bridget’s nature that even I wouldn’t want to see disappear completely, but what this film does so well is manage the balance between idiotic comedy and a genuinely engaging story, making for a far more entertaining watch that allows you to both laugh and get engrossed in Bridget’s various adventures.
One more positive that comes from the story here is that it’s not as insanely focused on Bridget Jones alone. Whilst she’s of course still the main character, a lot of this film is actually dedicated to the characters played by Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth, both of whom provide excellent comic relief, a different dynamic to Hugh Grant’s bad-boy vibe from the first two films, and an occasional welcome break from Bridget’s inner monologue, which is yet another point that makes this film not only more bearable than the first two, but far more well-rounded and genuinely interesting.
Finally, we can’t ignore Renée Zellweger’s performance here. Along with her character’s maturing, Zellweger gives a far more likable and reasonable performance, making Bridget so much more tolerable than before. Although she was never a huge issue in the first two films, seeing Bridget actually act like an adult throughout, rather than a third edition of a grown-up 12 year old girl, was very refreshing, and definitely made her character a lot more accessible and interesting for me.
Overall, I was really surprised by Bridget Jones’ Baby. It’s not only a funnier and more enjoyable watch than its two predecessors, but a welcome evolution for the series, taking Bridget’s ridiculous mishaps down a notch by providing more interesting storytelling, characters and romance, whilst also featuring some of the best acting and directing of the trilogy, which is why I’m giving this film a 7.7.