By Jack Dignan
We first met Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) back in 2001 in Bridget Jones's Diary. It was a fun little movie and Bridget proved to be a hilarious and loveable idiot. She returned in 2004 with Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, and while that film wasn't nearly as good as the first, it was still a lot of fun, ending with Bridget finally getting together with the love of her life, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Now, 15 years after the original, we have Bridget Jones's Baby, the third installment in the chaotic and unpredictable life of Bridget Jones, but does this story still work 15 years later?
Bridget Jones's Baby begins on Bridget's 43rd birthday, a number she really wants you to forget. She has once again found herself to be single, all of her closest friends getting married and having kids. She is truly alone, spending most of her nights drinking wine and singing along to songs in the comfort of her own home. But everything changes when Bridget goes out to a music festival with a friend from work, Miranda (Sarah Solemani). It's here that she meets Jack (Patrick Dempsey), and the two engage in intimate relations, so to speak. A week later Bridget runs into former lover Mark Darcy, and the two also engage in intimate relations. Now, Bridget is pregnant, and she's rather unsure who the father is.
This third movie is not only a big step up from its predecessor, which didn't get too many positive reactions/reviews, but it may even be on par with the first film, which is deemed a classic by many fans. I only saw it for the first time recently, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I may have liked this one even more. It's funnier and less predictable than the first two, serving up some laugh out loud hilarious moments and keeping audience members on the edge of their toes waiting to discover who the father of Bridget's baby is. The rest of the plot, however, isn't nearly as unpredictable, nor original.
While it may not have Hugh Grant, or even too much screen time given to a lot of the returning characters, Grant's disappearance works in the film's favour, allowing Patrick Dempsey is step in as a new character named Jack, and he's one of the best aspects about this movie. He's funny, likeable and full of positive energy, allowing every scene he's in to be an absolute blast. He may share most of his screen time with Bridget, but some of his best work comes when sharing the screen with Colin Firth's Mark Darcy, a character we've come to know and love over the course of three movies. The two have a hysterical dynamic going on between them, and they create some of the most memorable moments.
It's hard to top Bridget's previous mishaps, whether she's saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, drinking way too much alcohol or landing herself in an oversees prison for accidentally trying to smuggle drugs across the boarder. Her antics are a joy to watch, and they continuously get worse. She dreams of having a fairytale ending, but with as many things going wrong as they do, nothing ever turns out the way she wants, and nothing has changed. She's her same old self, for better and worse, and it's pretty safe to say that she's never been funnier.
If you're a fan of the Bridget Jones movies, it's you won't be disappointed by this one. It's everything you'd want and so much more, and while it isn't based on a book, unlike the first two movies, it's a story you're not going to want to miss out on, even if it can't help but borrow a handful of plot points from the first films. Full of excitement, ridiculous situations and a once again over the top soundtrack, it's the perfect film for every type of Bridget Jones fan, and even welcomes newcomers along too.
To sum up, Bridget Jones's Baby is a gut bustlingly hysterical continuation to Bridget Jones's now iconic story of seemingly endless mishaps. It may recycle the general premise of the original two with an added baby involved, but this film is full of energy, heart and hilarity, making it possibly the best Bridget Jones movie yet.
3 1/2 Stars