“Bridget Jones’s Baby” is the sequel no one expected, but everyone needed.
The movie opens with the song, “All By Myself”, which is an incredible dedication to the first film, where Bridget Jones, played by Renee Zellweger, sits on her couch, drunkenly belting the song. However, Zellweger quickly turns off the song, and starts playing “Jump Around”, cluing the audience in on the change in her character. From that moment, it was clear that Bridget Jones was no longer a woman who dwelled on her singleness, but one who prided herself on her work, friendships, and maturity.
As someone who has seen the previous two “Bridget Jones’s”, I was nervous walking into this third installment. The films have been cherished as sweet, and hilariously relatable – the first time watching “Bridget Jones”, I think I said ‘That’s me’ at least ten times. But that is what’s so brilliant about these movies- their ability to connect to each audience member, no matter their age or gender, and allow them to be a close friend of Zellweger, rather than a passive observer.
The third installment stays true to its predecessors, as it takes Bridget on a journey about finding herself, true love, and what it means to truly communicate with loved ones. That’s the biggest progression Jones goes through, in my opinion. Throughout the film, she struggles to tell both Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey (Mark Darcy and Jack Q. respectively), the truth about her pregnancy situation. Both think they are the father, until an unfortunate meeting forces Bridget to tell them that either one could be the father; she has no idea.
Both Firth and Dempsey bring such joy onto the screen, that it’s difficult to tell who is truly best for Bridget and her baby. Dempsey plays an online dating expert, who meets Bridget while at a musical festival. After a sudden sexual encounter, Bridget heads back home, not seeing Jack again until she must share her big news. Firth, on the other hand, is playing his beyond charming character Mark Darcy, for the third time. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan of Firth, and his Darcy. However, Firth adds something into his third performance that wasn’t seen in the previous two films; pure joy. The audience sees Darcy break open at the thought of having a family with Jones, and for the first time the shell around Firth begins to melt. His love for Bridget, and his possible child, adds depth into Darcy that makes the audience fall even harder for him.
Zellweger herself shines in this film. After taking a break from filming, Zellweger comes back swinging, with her natural ease and humor that intoxicates every actor and audience member. Every little Bridget quirk is kept intact, and the uncomfortable charm that was shared in the previous films, is just as prominent in this installment. One scene in particular left the audience cringe/laughing in their seats; when you watch the film, you’ll know the one I’m referring too.
One of the other highlights of the film, is Bridget’s doctor, played by the brilliant Emma Thompson. She adds quick wit, dark humor and an outside perspective to Bridget’s complicated life. Thompson was also one of the screenwriters on the film, which added to the dialogues incredible charm.
Directed by Sharon Maguire, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is on par with its grandmother, and will surely remind lovers of the film why they fell in the first place.
Bridget Jones’s Baby opens September 16th nationwide.