'Bridget Jones's Baby' proves to be v.v. satisfying
a treat it is to dive back into the cozy world of Bridget Jones, who is
the kind of old friend you can pick up with right where you left off, no
matter how long it's been. “Bridget Jones's Baby” opens with a
familiar scene for our pal: Bridget (Renée Zellweger) celebrating her
birthday alone to the tune of “All By Myself,” blowing out a candle on
a single cupcake, guzzling white wine in her jammies. The pity party's
over soon enough, though, as she skips the song and boogies instead to
“Jump Around.” Has Bridget Jones gotten her groove back?
does, in fact, have a groove, perhaps for the first time. She's a producer
on the television program “Hard News,” still has her great group of
friends, even though they're now all saddled with kids, and has achieved
her ideal weight. But Bridget's always been one for self-improvement, so
when it comes to her love life, she's is determined to make new mistakes,
not old ones.
Quant (Patrick Dempsey), an American tech billionaire who has leveraged
his match-making algorithm into a successful dating app, is the perfect
new mistake, as opposed to old mistake Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), the
fussbudget workaholic lawyer with whom things never worked out. Good thing
Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) isn't in the picture this time around.
has a tendency to self-sabotage her romances, but biology doesn't let her
off the hook this time, and at 43, she finds herself with child. Just who
else is also with child in this scenario - Jack or Mark - is the question
that's up for debate in the film.
the neuroses of “Bridget Jones” have always been about bodies,
“Baby” releases her from this anxiety and flips the script, letting
Bridget reclaim the power of her own body. “Weight: who cares?” she
types in her ubiquitous diary around Christmastime, when she's rounding
the bend on nine months’ pregnant. She grew a human with that
of what's so refreshing about “Bridget Jones's Baby” is that at 43,
Bridget is effortlessly desirable, sexy, adventurous and, yes, adorable.
The film just assumes this as fact, balancing Bridget's wryly
self-deprecating inner monologue alongside the external perspective that
sees her for the fetching beauty she is. Zellweger plays Bridget just as
charmingly as she always has - flawed but endearing; just right in her own
relatable (if somewhat aspirational) character comes not just from
Zellweger's performance, but also from the assured direction of Sharon
Maguire, who also helmed “Bridget Jones's Diary” in 2001. “Jones”
author Helen Fielding collaborated with Dan Mazer and British national
treasure Emma Thompson (who
also plays Bridget's OB-GYN) on the “Baby” script. The jokes
reference beloved scenes from the first film, but it never feels like a
re-hash of old material (they even manage to elicit laughs from a dated
reference to “Gangnam Style”).
it feels current because they've allowed the character to grow.
Bridget’s still awkward and prone to embarrassing foibles, but she’s
older, wiser, comfortable in her own skin. Shockingly, it seems as though
Bridget has learned to live in the moment. As Bridget Jones discovers her
own kind of Zen, it makes for a third installment that proves to be v.v.