Movie review: ‘Bridget Jones’ latest romp is about family
It’s been 15 years since Bridget Jones first made her way to theaters, and it’s been 12 years since her last cinematic outing. That’s a long time to wait to find out if everyone’s favorite under dog found a happy ending.
Now Bridget Jones is back, with returning stars Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth in the mix for new adventures. It was a fall treat for fans of the comedy and fans of romantic comedies in general, as this one offered the typical antics you’d expect from a Bridget Jones adventure.
In the new film, Bridget (Zellweger) is turning 43. In fact, the film opens on her birthday and things aren’t going quite as she’d planned — at least in the romance department. While she’s a successful news producer and seems confident in her professional life, there’s a big hole in her personal life.
Her former friend and co-worker Daniel (Hugh Grant) has suddenly passed away. Meanwhile her childhood friend and former flame, Mark Darcy (Firth), is married. But Bridget is alone. On the night of her birthday, during a solitary celebration, she vows to improve the situation.
Soon her new, younger co-worker Miranda (Sarah Solemani) takes her to a music festival to help her lighten up a bit. There, Bridget crosses paths with an American stranger, Jack (Patrick Dempsey), with whom she has a quick fling.
A few days later, while at the Christening of a friend’s child, Bridget crosses paths with Mark again. Mark is in the midst of a divorce, and expresses how much he misses Bridget. They, too, hook up.
Once again on her own, Bridget is determined to find the right man for her life, but has to navigate new challenges at work. Life becomes even more complicated when she discovers she’s pregnant and remains unsure whether Mark or Jack is the father.
After breaking the news to both her paramours, the trio embark on an interesting process, both vying for her affection as Bridget tries to survive her pregnancy. The question becomes who is the best fit for Bridget and her baby.
By now, people know what to expect from these kind of movies. You get plenty of awkward situations, plenty of jokes, a lot of subtle observations on life and a heavy dose of romance. These movies aren’t deep and complex, but they’re meant to be satisfying to audiences. And from that standpoint, this film does its job.
Zellweger effortlessly slips back into the role — and the British accent — and seems at home in Bridget’s shoes. She carries a lot of the movie and does a great job of bringing Bridget and all her foibles to life.
Dempsey easily slides into the third wedge in the film’s love triangle, and Firth is strong again as Darcy. They have such different styles and screen personas, which helps balance out the comedy on the screen.
But perhaps the best performance comes from Emma Thompson, who is completely hilarious as Bridget’s put-upon doctor. She has some of the best lines and really helps punch up the comedy in a few key scenes in the film.
The 12 year layoff did little to diminish the effectiveness of the Bridget Jones films. And of course, what most fans want most is a happy ending for Bridget in her quest for love. This film should be satisfying for fans of the franchise, and just those looking for a good time at the movies. It’s not overly complex, not hard to figure out what’s happening and where it’s going, but it is a fun journey along the way.
“Bridget Jones’ Baby” has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for language, sex references and some nudity. Enter with caution.
Three stars out of four.
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