Title: Bridget Jones’s Baby
Director: Sharon Maguire
Writers: Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer, Emma Thompson
Stars: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
Release Date: In cinemas 15th September
Review by: Dave Griffiths
Over the past few years, we have seen some franchises brought kicking and screaming into the modern era. While for series like Rocky and Jason Bourne it has worked, we’ve also seen the ill-fated attempt to bring Ghostbusters back to life in the modern era as well. Now we see a franchise that many female audience members list as one of their favourites, the Bridget Jones franchise, being updated with a modern day third film.
This time around we find Bridget (Renee Zellweger – Chicago) working as a successful television producer and while her working life has moved along leaps and bounds she is once again single and alone. After a particularly depressing birthday, her good friend and colleague Miranda (Sarah Solemani – Him & Her) talks Bridget into attending a music festival. Events there see her land in bed with swank American billionaire, Jack (Patrick Dempsey – Grey’s Anatomy). Then just a couple of weeks later Bridget finds herself falling into the arms of her ex, the dashing Mr Darcy (Colin Firth – The King’s Speech). A few months later she finds herself pregnant and wondering, who is the father.
We must pay credit to director Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and her team of screenwriters that includes the gifted Dan Mazer (I Give It A Year) for creating a film that not only fits perfectly into the Bridget Jones franchise but challenges its predecessors as being the best film in the series. Certainly, if it comes down to laughs alone, then the earlier films certainly don’t match this one.
The film also doesn’t suffer from the fact it’s characters have all moved on nearly a decade in time. The film explores sensitive topics such as a working woman wondering what motherhood will do to her career and how her parents will receive the news that she is not completely sure who the father of her unborn child is. The result is some touching scenes between Bridget and her father (Jim Broadbent – Moulin Rouge!) and some tense scenes with her mother (Gemma Jones – Sense And Sensibility) who is more concerned about her ‘political career’ then her daughter’s feelings.
While the film does handle the ‘love triangle’ without ever dipping into clichés, it is made stronger with its sense of humour. The way it hilariously explains the disappearance of Hugh Grant from the series and uses its sub-characters – characters such as the inappropriate Jude (Shirley Henderson – Trainspotting) and Dr Rawlings (Emma Thompson – Love Actually) the latter who manages to steal the laughs in every scene that she is.
When it comes to the main cast Zellweger reminds Hollywood that she is still an actress who is more than capable to carry a film while Patrick Dempsey impresses in a role that sees him switch between playing a suave hero and the movie’s bad guy with complete ease. Then there is Colin Firth who again shows when it comes to playing a pompous and stuffy Englishman there is simply no one better.
In what is one of the surprises of the year Bridget Jones’s Baby ends up being one of the funniest films that you are likely to see this year. With likeable characters and a story that draws you in and makes you want to know who the father is this is a film that fits nicely into its franchise rather than feeling like it has just been tacked on. Start knitting the booties because Bridget Jones’s Baby is one infant that will impress if you are a fan of British comedy.