By Darlene Donloe
Whether you’ve seen the first two Bridget Jones movies or not, you’ll have a helluva good time watching Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third installment of the franchise that includes Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). The latest raucous, sometimes raunchy comedy is in theaters nationwide on Friday, Sept. 16.
The last time we saw Bridget she was 32, still a bit pudgy, a bit insecure, a smoker, a singleton and childless.
That was 11 years ago. Today, Bridget is 43, she has found herself, has a great job as a news producer, is confident and happy with a slimmer version of herself.
But she is still a singleton and childless – well, at least for the first 15 minutes of the movie.
For her birthday, at the behest of Miranda (Sarah Solemani), one of her colleagues, Bridget goes to a music festival and sows some wild oats. She has sex with the first guy she meets. Jack (Patrick Dempsey) just happens to be a rich, gorgeous, single, American billionaire who founded a romance website.
It was just a fling. Fast-forward to the christening of her friend’s baby where Bridget is the godmother. Low and behold, who is the godfather? Yep, you guessed it, the love of her life, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Things get a bit sentimental and Mark, who is in the midst of divorcing, professes his desires for Bridget. What woman could resist?
In both cases Bridget uses eco-friendly, biodegradable, but longtime expired condoms. Oblivious to her blunder she asks a friend – “sell-by dates don’t mean anything ... do they?”
Uh, apparently they do.
Bridget has had sex with two men within a week with damaged condoms.
As luck would have it, she gets pregnant, but has no idea if the father is Jack or Mark.
To her surprise, both Jack and Mark are happy about her pregnancy and are even looking forward to being fathers. In fact, they find themselves competing to see who can make Bridget happy.
So the story begins.
The good thing about this third installment is that it proves the franchise can hold up. Bridget is back. Zellweger picks up exactly where she left off. She’s still appealing, ditzy, adorable and naïve. We still care about her. We still care about what happens. We still want the best for her.
Bridget is still living in London in the same apartment, or flat as its called in England. She still works at the same place and has even been promoted to producer.
There are lots of natural, unforced laughs in this comedy. There is also a lot of tenderness, caring and real emotions.
To be fair, you could pretty much figure out how the movie was going to end. But, that’s ok. The way Director Sharon McGuire gets the audience there is acceptable. McGuire delivers a solid story.
Good performances from all of the principal actors. Actually, Emma Thompson, one of the writers, who also plays Bridget’s doctor in the film – nearly steals the film. She is HIGH-LARIOUS with some fabulous dialogue zingers.
Other standouts include Solemani, who plays Miranda, a high-spirited news anchor who is Bridget’s partner in crime. Not to be outdone is Kate O’Flynn, who is frighteningly funny as Alice, the new news director who wants to take the show in a more young and hip direction - making Bridget wrestles with her relevance in the workplace. Both Solemani and O’Flynn give hysterical performances.
Gemma Jones and Jim Broadbent are back as Bridget’s parents. Both give steady showings.
The only one missing from this romp is Daniel Cleaver, played with just the right amount of cad by Hugh Grant.
There are numerous hilarious scenes in the film, including one that has Miranda and Bridget not recognizing Ed Sheeran at the music festival. They ask him to take a picture. He thinks they want a picture with him, but instead they just want him to take a picture of them. Bridget thinks he looks familiar. She thinks he may just work at the local Starbucks. But no scene is as funny as the gut-busting one that has Jack and Mark trying to carry an about-to-give-birth Bridget through the hospital’s revolving door. Golden!
Kudos to the music department. The soundtrack is fantastic and on point. It’s as if it’s actually another character in the film.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is directed by Sharon Maguire, written by Helen Fielding, Emma Thompson and Dan Mazer and stars Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey and Thompson.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) an E (excellent), Bridget Jones’s Baby gets an O (oh, yeah).