Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones's Baby, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Film review, Gemma Jones, Helen Fielding, James Callis, Jim Broadbent, Patrick Dempsey, Renee Zellweger, Sally Phillips, Sarah Solemani, Shirley Henderson
Confession time: a week before I went to see Bridget Jones’ Baby, I, too, celebrated my birthday alone. I bought myself a birthday cake, lit a candle – yes, there is a line you have to draw when you stop putting a candle on the cake for every year of your life – and, at the insistence of my best friend, I sang “Happy Birthday” to myself. It is honestly not as sad as it sounds (it was sadder when my football team lost the Grand Final the following day, but that’s another story).
When it was first announced that Bridget would make a third foray onto our screens, fifteen years after she first endeared herself to audiences around the world, I was less than excited. After all, Edge of Reason was barely good enough a sequel. However, proving that the movie marketing machine does work, and the knowledge that Emma Thompson was called upon to “fix” the screenplay, I decided this was worth a go.And I was not disappointed. It is now 2016 and our bumbling, yet adorable, Bridget is a successful TV producer, albeit on a show that is being overtaken by a bunch of millennials more intent on click-bait “news” than real journalism. She has managed to maintain her ideal weight and her friends, Shazza (Sally Phillips), Jude (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (James Callis) are still around.
Unfortunately, the men who had fought (literally) for Bridget previously are no longer with her. Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) is married to someone else, and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) is missing, presumed dead, following a plane crash. Mum Pamela (Gemma Jones) is still excited by her new-found “career” and Dad Colin (Jim Broadbent) is as congenial as ever.
Left alone on her 43rd birthday, Bridget accepts her friend Miranda’s (Sarah Solemani) offer to take her away for the weekend. The pair of single gals end up at a music festival, where the birthday girl meets a handsome American. Later in the evening, Bridget drunkenly goes into a yurt that she thought was hers, begins to undress and hops into the bed, only to find it already occupied by the sexy mysterious American. It does not take much to convince Bridget to throw caution to the wind and have a one-night stand without even finding out his name.
A week later, at Jude’s baby’s christening, Bridget bumps into Mark again where she soon learns he is in the process of getting a divorce. The sparks fly between the two and, yes, predictably, they spend the night together. A few weeks later, thinking she was putting on weight again, Bridget learns she is pregnant but has no idea who the father is. Worse still, she does not even know the name of one of the potential baby daddies!
As it turns out, the mystery man is Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), a mathematician who made millions for developing a formula that can work out love matches on the internet. And so, even with Daniel out of the picture, Mark suddenly finds himself fighting for a place in Bridget’s heart once again.
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Bridget Jones’ Baby despite the predictable outcomes. Emma Thompson, as Bridget’s OBGYN, steals the show with every scene, going along with the deception to the two fathers, and giving reassurances that no matter what happens with Mark and Jack, that she would be okay. Admittedly, I enjoyed this sequel much more than I expected. Perhaps a check-in with Bridget’s personal dramas every ten years is what we all need.
Directed by Sharon Maguire and written by Helen Fielding (whose books and characters the trilogy are based on), Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson, Bridget Jones’ Baby is now showing across Australia.