PG13. Warner Brothers.
Single, 43-year-old television producer Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is stood up on her birthday by her child oriented friends. As a consolation prize, friend Sarah takes her away from it all to a festival to party like it’s 1999. Bridget has a wild night with hot, younger, dating site mastermind Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and what she thinks is proper protection. Back home performing as godmother to her friend’s child she encounters, Mark (Colin Firth), an old flame whose marriage to his work as a barrister came between them. He and Bridget have a wild night with what they think is proper protection.
Bridget spent films I and II in a struggle for her ideal weight. She is now trim but seems to be putting it back on. Can it be? Yes. The protection was out of date and she is pregnant. Is the father past love or new brief fling? Both men make themselves available to fill the paternal post in what turns into a comical competition for best man. Accidents, panic and misunderstanding ensue until all ends happily.
Bridget Jones’s Baby challenges the assumption that we should know better with age. The more years we live the more moralizing we face and the greater the expectation (both internal and external) of where we should be by certain birthday milestones.
Bridget is unmarried and childless at 43 and still in her old flat; apparently nothing has changed since we first saw her in her thirties.
However, Bridget has achieved her goal weight, eats sensibly and exercises, has a responsible, successful job, knows the right thing to say at a friend’s funeral and has maintained a circle of loving friends. Mark, on the other hand, is still caught up in a loveless whirlpool of work. Jack is a dating addict who has never had a lasting relationship. The baby is a catalyst for growth all round, both literally and psychologically. Ultimately Bridget chooses not the most compatible but the man who loves her, wants to have a family and live with her regardless of the paternity of the baby.
Bridget Jones contains at least one laugh out load moment as well as some poignant ones. However, the two leads had aged so much that this was a constant distraction. Bridget’s transition from appealing general curviness to a cut-down sophistication left her at times unrecognisable as through the years have not been kind. This does provide a flattering foil to the parents, played by Gemma Jones and Jim Broadbent, and her three bosom buddies who seem to have aged scarcely at all.
Patrick Dempsey, as Jack, provides compensating eye-candy. However, the star of the show is Emma Thompson who is captivating as the cooly practical but ultimately sympathetic doctor steering Bridget medically and emotionally through pregnancy.
Bridget Jones’s Baby raises questions about peer pressure and the biological clock versus a fulfilled independent lifestyle. Is it her biological clock or archaic social expectation that is responsible for Bridget feeling that once she has achieved wife and motherhood somehow she has ‘made it’, joining her parent’s and friend’s club however late in the day? Either way, the audience is rewarded with seeing Bridget as radiant and content as at the end of the previous two films. Paradoxically the happiest person is the Jack who, while regarded as being irresponsible contrives to be single, childless, successful, and a beacon of joyful self-sufficiency. Everyone, therefore, can take heart of some sort from this film. It’s never too late to have the life you want, regardless of why you want it and therein lies the feel-better aspect of this film.
The most charming and endearing of the trilogy is undoubtedly Bridget Jones (I) and if nothing else this film will likely make you want to visit or revisit and relish this heart-warming comedy classic. For fans of Bridget Jones, the continuing story, we have a twist at the end of the film that opens the way for Bridget Jones IV.
Chartreuse is a freelance writer, editor, photographer and promotional videographer. She has written a feel-better film review column for Heath & Happiness Magazine, and is the owner of Heypressto. Chartreuse’ greatest inspiration is Abraham-Hicks. Her favourite quote is ‘You can be, do or have anything you want’.