Friday, 23 September 2016

Bridget's Back - a review of Bridget Jones Baby (no spoilers)

So I spent last Sunday getting reacquainted with Bridget Jones by watching the first two films, namely Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason.  Both excellent films although the first will always remain the greatest.  The reason for revisiting these fabulous films was that yesterday evening my sister and I went to see the latest instalment of Bridget’s life, Bridget Jones’ Baby.

It’s been 10 years in the life of Bridget (Renee Zellwegger) since we last saw her catching the bouquet at her parents wedding vows renewal.  Once you get over the initial shock of the ageing actors (can’t help the passage of time) and the new slimline Bridget, we soon fall back into the craziness of Bridget’s world.  She hasn’t changed much.  She’s no longer with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) but once again single and back in her old flat.  What makes it so easy to reconnect is that everyone is back, with the notable exception of Hugh Grant as womaniser Daniel Cleaver, gone but definitely not forgotten.  However everyone else is there, Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones as her parents, along with Celia Imrie as Aunt Una. She is still working alongside Richard (Neal Pearson) and her old friends Jude, Shazza and Tom are still around although all of them are already on the baby wagon which makes Bridget feel a bit left behind so she spends a lot of time with Miranda, the anchor of the TV news show.

Miranda takes her to a music festival where Bridget hooks up with the handsome Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and one thing leads to another but Bridget leaves the next morning without leaving a contact number for Jack.  A couple of weeks later she meets up with Mark Darcy again at the christening of Jude’s latest child where they are both godparents and they reconnect and spend the night together.  However Bridget leaves before he wakes up after remembering how his work always came before she did, hence the reason they broke up in the first place.

Three months later and Bridget is gaining weight and can’t understand why. A quick pregnancy test later and Bridget has the quandary of all quandaries: Who’s The Daddy?  Without giving away any spoilers here, the film continues in a way that sets both candidates up to be ideal prospects.  On the one hand you have Mark, the love of Bridget's life and you kind of want it to be him because he’s been there from the start.  However in the blue corner you have Jack, the sexy newcomer who is a seemingly perfect match for Bridget and has an instant closeness with Bridget that Mark always seemed to be pushing away or fighting for.  I was pretty pleased with how the film finally resolved itself although there was a nice potential alternative that my sister and myself both thought might be coming but didn’t.

Everything that made the first two films such a success is repeated in this film.  You have the two men in Bridget’s life fighting each other for her attentions, although no actual physical fights this time round.  In one particular scene where the potential daddies step outside I was just waiting for the familiar strains of ‘It’s Raining Men’ but alas there was no scratching and kicking as there was between Mark and Daniel in the first films.  

Bridget’s parents are just as delightful as they were previously.  In the first film you had her mother running off with a perma-tanned home shopping goon, in the second they renewed their wedding vows in a haze of lavender coloured everything. This time round you have her mother running in the local parish council elections promoting ‘Family Values’.  A bit tricky when your daughter turns up pregnant, unmarried and not exactly sure who the father is.

And there’s even a wedding thrown in but I won’t say who’s it is.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back into the life of the girl who made over-sized knickers popular again.  It was a laugh out loud, feel good film that has withstood the test of time and survived the long gap between instalments.

Welcome back Bridget, the world’s favourite singleton.

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