“I am ready to roll with the ironic bearded hipsters.”
15 years on from the superb first movie and 12 years since it’s okay-ish sequel Bridget is back. And, judging by the 90% capacity 9pm Saturday evening screening I attended at Picturehouse Central, she’s been sorely missed.For many she is an inspiration, an everywoman doing everywoman things whilst having two men fight over her. Although at 24 I may have been too young to appreciate her first time around and therefore had reasonably low expectations of the film I was pleasantly surprised. Film number three is hilarious, sweet and heartfelt. A bit like our Bridget herself.
Bridget Jones (Zellweger) is now 43 years-old and single. She’s celebrating her birthday on her own as her friends are now stay-at-home parents and her relationship with Mr Darcy (Firth) lumbered along for ten years before fizzling out. He’s now married to another woman and she is alone. Again. When attending a festival with friend and work colleague Miranda (Solemani) Bridget has a steamy encounter with Jack (Dempsey).That same week she has a reunion of sorts with Mr Darcy. When Bridget later realises that she is pregnant she can only be 50% certain as to the identity of the father…
If you’ve seen the trailer you know all of that already. One of my main concerns from watching the trailer is how they would handle the two male characters not knowing which is the father. Thankfully it is handled reasonably well, without manipulation and although unsurprisingly heavy on humour it ends up being rather beveliable. That’s the great thing about Bridget as a character – that many of the conundrums or awkward situations she finds herself are versions of which we may have found ourselves in or at least we can understand how they have occurred.
The characters are brought up-to-date quite nicely. Bridget’s new boss Alice (O’Flynn) is a fantastically fierce addition who successfully reflects the ongoing battle between traditional news values and modernity. Solemani as Miranda is wonderful as Bridget’s new friend whilst our old trio to provide nostalgia, albeit in minor roles. Firth brings back in the charm in spades. His swoon-worthy appeal is surprisingly hard to define or pinpoint, yet is oh-so-effective. In comparison Dempsey doesn’t quite get enough to shine with as his Jack is vanilla – bland and with very little flavour.
Then there’s our star herself. Zellweger’s performance is an utter delight to watch. She manages to create a character we can relate to – one we want to be our friend and with whom we laugh with not at. Her bemusement, which borders on wonderment, throughout the film is endearing. Forget being #TeamDarcy or #TeamJack – I’m #TeamBridget all the way. Characters like Bridget – women who are warm, clever and funny with this level of depth – are few and far between.
This is a film that flies by, packed with more than enough funnies and providing utter joy.
Dir: Sharon Maguire
Country:UK Year: 2016 Run time: 123 minutes
Bridget Jones Baby opened in UK cinemas on September 16th.