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article imageReview: ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ still able to balance relatable & absurd Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 17, 2016 in Entertainment
‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ brings everyone’s favourite imperfect woman back to the big screen, but this time Bridget’s problems are a little more concrete than spending her birthday alone.
For many people, they are their own worst critic; this has been proven to be especially true for women, who often see themselves as substandard in any number of areas. Whether in written or motion picture format, Bridget Jones is the personification of all these insecurities, mishaps and frustrations. Obviously some of the situations she’s found herself in were humorously absurd, but she also confronts issues that plague many women from appearance to weight to relationships. The character’s appeal rests in the honesty of her stream of consciousness. In Bridget Jones’s Baby, she enters a new phase of her life.
It’s been ten years since audiences last saw Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) and she seems to have taken the time to really get her life together. The senior producer at a news network, she’s single, successful and seemingly less erratic. A weekend celebration at an outdoor music festival brings her in contact with, Jack (Patrick Dempsey), a handsome stranger, while a mutual friend’s event drops Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) back into her life in the same week. But both encounters are fleeting and Bridget is content with never seeing either man again… until she discovers she’s pregnant. This is definitely a new situation for the lovelorn journalist and one she’s sure to handle with a typical lack of clarity.
In some ways, this is probably the silliest movie in the franchise as Bridget goes to great lengths to first hide her uncertainty from both potential fathers and then insist they go through the pregnancy together until the father can be identified. Essentially abandoning the diary format of previous narratives, Bridget’s inner monologue is delivered live from her head to audience’s ears. Her character has truly grown from the insecure, sad-to-be-single woman in the earlier pictures to one who is confident and capable of handling almost any situation without a total meltdown. It’s somewhat reassuring for the viewers to see even Bridget can more-or-less get it together.
Dempsey is no Hugh Grant, so the macho rivalry between Jack and Darcy is never quite as entertaining nor do they go to the extreme measures previously seen to out-do each other and win Bridget’s approval. Of course everyone is older now and brawling in the streets probably doesn’t have the same appeal anymore, but it was such a comical tradition. In any case, both men vie for Bridget’s affections in a much more adult, but in some ways slimier, manner.
Emma Thompson is absolutely hilarious as Bridget’s OBGYN, generally calling her on her indirect probing and reluctantly partaking in the mother-to-be’s ruses, resulting in clumsy explanations and chastising looks. Zellweger and Firth both resume their parts without missing a beat. Darcy has changed very little, which continues to make him both infuriating and charming. Zellweger also appears happy to don her Bridget Jones hat again, imbuing the character with all those loveable anxieties and schemes. However the script requires her to be somewhat less foolish, which is an appropriate development for the character but somewhat less pleasing for audiences. Dempsey fits in nicely to reinvent the infinite threesome of which Bridget always finds herself a part of, but he’s still a little too normal and villainously calculating for this group. He lacks the complete irrationality for which the film’s characters are so well-known.
And all the nonsense regarding Zellweger’s altered appearance is ridiculous. She simply looks healthy and happy — attributes also reflected in Bridget’s evolution.
Director: Sharon Maguire
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey
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