Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

bridget-joness-baby

Decided that I would be a good little blogger (for once) and actually review something immediately after seeing it rather than procrastinating. I am, quite literally, just back from seeing the funniest third film ever, Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Bridget Jones, the character that seemingly exemplified every 30-something woman in the noughties (and I say seemingly purely because I will not hit 30 until 2021), returns as a 43 year old singleton attempting to enjoy a life in which all her old friends are coupled up and having babies. For once she seems to be doing a good job of it, holding a successful job and not wallowing in her lack of having a man-ness. The only problem is that parent friends tend to bail because of babies. So she goes on what she thinks is a girly spa weekend (that turns out to be a festival) and ends up sleeping with an American, Jack Qwant. She comes home to go to the christening of one of her friend’s children and then ends up sleeping with her soon-to-be-divorced ex, Mark Darcy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on perspective), flimsy vegan-friendly, out-of-date condoms have a tendency to fail and Bridget falls pregnant. Who is the father? Only a very giant needle during pregnancy or a very patient nine months will tell. Bridget opts for the latter.

So I’m going to put my hands up and admit that I have never seen the second Bridget Jones film. I had a moderate level of affection for the first film and Edge of Reason didn’t get good feedback within my friendship group so I just didn’t bother. I went to this one purely because my sister was going and it seemed like a nice evening out. I’m very glad I went though because it is a hilarious film. It does follow a lot of the typical love triangle, will they won’t they pattern of your average rom-com but throws in some amusing complications that take it above the cliches. Add in some genuine heart-tugging moments and you’ve got a pretty decent film.

Part of my problem with the first Bridget Jones was that I never really connected to Renee Zellweger’s character. I wasn’t even a teenager when it came out and I suppose that had a lot to do with it. Not like I had a job where I could attract the attention of my sexy boss and my childhood friends were, at best, still in the awkward/ugly pubescent stages. No love triangles for me. I also found most of her problems to be largely her own fault and she spent far too much time pouting about them rather than sorting anything. Oddly enough, I connected more to 43 year old Bridget in this film than I ever had before. I’m nowhere near that age, still don’t see myself ending up in any sort of love triangle, and am most definitely not pregnant, and yet I empathised more with the Bridget in this film. Maybe it’s because I do have friends who are having babies and do understand how that can affect friendship groups or perhaps it’s because I was always more of an old soul than anything else. Or it could be that I can’t really blame Bridget for a lot of the predicaments she finds herself in in this film. And she doesn’t really whine or pout as much. She just makes some witty, self-depreciating commentary and then carries on. Potential baby daddies struggle with the situation? It’s fine, she can do this herself if she needs to. I like strong Bridget.

Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth, is still the upright romantic interest that struggles to show his affection but this time his opposite is an American love guru, Jack, played by Patrick Dempsey. They are both good characters with positive and negative qualities but I feel like there isn’t much of a question as to who you want to be the baby daddy. Like most people I’ve spoken to, I was a Mark supporter throughout Bridget Jones’s Baby. I think that, without Daniel Cleaver as the love rival, Mark just comes off as the utterly right choice because some of the more negative aspects of his personality don’t shine through as badly. Though he is a slave to his job and not prone to showing his feelings, it is clear throughout that he cares for Bridget and would do anything for her and the baby, no matter who is the father. Jack is endearing and enthusiastic but just isn’t a match. I do prefer him as the other leading man, however. He has flares of the childish rivalry and ribbing that Daniel did but mostly he’s just a nice guy with a good sense of humour. He is open where Mark is closed and they end up with a weird, terribly uncomfortable bromance. Honestly, it’s the closest thing to a genuine love triangle I’ve ever seen on film.

Plot-wise, Bridget Jones’s Baby is probably a bit weak. Nothing really happens – she gets pregnant and the script tries to have a huge question over who the father is, who you want to be the father, whether there are going to be problems with the baby given that Bridget is a geriatric mother but… it just doesn’t quite make it on the impactful plot front. As much as I love that Bridget has gained a set and can handle herself, it is probably the source of the problems when it comes to the lack of conflict. Yes, you would like to see Bridget get her happily ever after with the father of her child but you never feel like that HAS to be the only outcome of the film. The men don’t necessarily matter because you feel like she can come through either way. The conflict isn’t there. Problems with the baby because of her age was the only area where I could see some genuine potential for conflict and it just didn’t happen. From an emotional point of view, great, and this was probably the right choice for a light comedy, but it does mean that the script largely skims the surface and there’s no great depth of tension.

Now ordinarily I would find plot problems to be rather insurmountable but this is not the case with Bridget Jones’s Baby. The plot is unimportant because it’s just hilarious. There are so many moments that are just laugh-out-loud, tears-rolling-down-cheeks funny. And it’s largely down to the great acting and wonderful balance among the characters, especially Mark and Jack (they make a wonderful couple :P) or Emma Tompson as Bridget’s long-suffering doctor. The jokes relate to each character’s flaws and the physical humour is brilliantly executed. Out of all the comedies I have seen this year, Bridget Jones’s Baby got the most laughs from me.

Now let’s see how many baby puns I can throw into this summary:

A slightly flimsy concept(ion) but Bridget Jones’s Baby delivers some water-breaking laughs.

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