Bridget Jones’s Baby

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Bridget reunites with the director of the first film (Sharon Maguire), jumps around to “Jump Around”, ignores the sequel (“Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason”) in a fashion not seen since “X Men 3” was erased from the timeline, and all is right with the world of singletons again.

Celebrating her 43rd birthday at the film’s open, we learn that Bridget is no longer obsessed with her weight, has a great job as a television news producer, fab new career-focused 30 something friends (along with the now kids-saddled “old gang”), and is…alone.

But while she may be lamenting missed chances, she is a glass half full (of wine) kind of girl, and as soon as you see Bridget celebrating her birthday by dancing around the living room and jumping on her bed, you know this level of dagginess can only be the beginning of good things.

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What this films successfully inhabits (and what the second film forgot) is that Bridget is such a likeable character. She is fun. She is happy for her friends when they are successful or starting the family she always thought she’d have. And in this film she’s even competent at her job – even when her drive for serious news is becoming increasingly irrelevant (cats that look like Hitler!). And for anyone who was worried the entire plot of the film would be ‘you keep this potential father occupied while the other potential father is in the other room’, fear not! Beyond some initial ultrasound hi-jinks, Bridget comes clean, apologies to Schrodinger’s Dads, and the script mines for comedy and drama elsewhere.

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Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver is certainly missed (but not forgotten), but in his place Patrick Dempsey is surprisingly capable as the third leg of the love triangle, playing nicely off of Colin Firth’s stoic awkwardness. Zellweger inhabits Bridget like she never left her shabby-now-chic London flat, and new additions Emma Thompson and Sarah Solemani as Bridget’s 30 something television presenter friend, claim some of the biggest laughs of the film for themselves.

While not reaching the heights of the (now classic) first film, skirting close to generational stereotypes (the youth these days take photos of their food!) and with a few dead spots throughout, the film is far from perfect. However, it is a nice addition to the romantic comedy genre, arriving with a flair and confidence in its flawed heroine that seems to be sorely missed from cinema lately, and one that will stand up to repeat viewing.

Most importantly, it rounds out the trilogy nicely. Two out of three aint bad.