This weekend, the third movie in the “Bridget Jones” romantic comedy series was released, 12 years after the last installment. Though the franchise may be nostalgic for some, “Bridget Jones’ Baby” has opened to mixed reviews.
The film centers on Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), a forty-something single woman who works as a TV news producer in London. Growing bored of her career-driven life, Jones decides to go on a girls weekend with one of her friends. During said weekend, Jones meets Jack (Patrick Dempsey), an American billionaire, and the two engage in adult activities.
After Jones returns from her weekend of fun, she attends the christening of her goddaughter, where she runs into her ex, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), and these two also engage in adult activities.
When Jones discovers she’s pregnant, she realizes either of the men she was involved with could be the father. Since she has to wait until the birth to discover the paternity, what ensues is a comedic/dramatic blend of awkward dynamics between the three characters.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the film was the characters. As college students, the first movie in the “Bridget Jones” series may have been a little before our time, but plenty of viewers will still be thrilled to see Zellweger back on screen as Jones.
Before the release of the movie, Zellweger endured some criticism from media concerning the altered look of her face. Many claimed extensive plastic surgery, but Zellweger simply stated it was a natural side effect of aging. In “Bridget Jones’ Baby,” Zellweger’s performance reflects that of an aging heroine, proving that it doesn’t always have to be young, blonde wedding planners who get to be the star.
The supporting cast brought most of the humor with them, though the funniest ones didn’t get as much screen time as they deserved. Bridget’s co-worker Miranda (Sarah Solemani), for example, had some of the funniest lines in the movies as the spunky, bold best friend, but was largely unseen in the second half of the film.
In the second half of the movie, Bridget’s doctor (Emma Thompson) took over the role of comedian, delivering similarly bold quips throughout the confusing process of Bridget’s pregnancy and stealing every scene she was in.
Though it is marketed as a romantic comedy, the movie was light on both aspects. Yes, there were funny moments, and yes, two different men are seeking after Bridget. But really, the movie dealt more with Bridget struggling to come to terms with the fact that she will soon be an older, single mother, trying to maintain her standing in a changing world. Much of the film features Bridget out on her own, in the workplace, at the doctor, and at home, figuring out this new stage in her life.
“Bridget Jones’ Baby” is a surprisingly thoughtful and, at times, gloomy romantic comedy. It’s different from the bright, joyful films of the genre that most are familiar with. Though it wasn’t groundbreaking, it’s a good movie to watch on a cozy rainy day.