Originally Published on September 30, 2016. Bridget Jones’s Baby is now available on Netflix Instant in the United States.
Overview: Twelve years after Bridget Jones discovers love with Mark Darcy, we catch up with her only to discover she’s single again. However, one girls’ weekend and one christening celebration are enough to alter the course of her solitude forever, or the next 18 years at least. Universal Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 123 minutes.
All By Myself: Fans of the original Bridget Jones’s Diary will be greeted with all of the happy, nostalgic feelings the moment the opening credits roll and we find Bridget alone with wine and cheesy music on her birthday. From that moment on, the consistent tone throughout the film is one that implies some things change but not really. All of the characters we love, or love to hate, from the first two installments have returned as quirky as ever. Bridget’s mother is still an obsessive society climber, still a borderline alcoholic with a tendency to fumble through every aspect in her life.
The main addition to the Bridget Jones’s universe is Patrick Dempsey’s Jack Qwant, who stands out not only as the newbie of the bunch, but also the only American, which is painfully and hilariously obvious from his carefree approach to their new family situation, to his cutthroat tactics to become the favored daddy-to-be. Jack’s enthusiastic participation in the pregnancy class’s assumption that he and Mark are in a same sex relationship with a surrogate inject a carefree attitude that’s often missing from this franchise’s humor,
Don’t Wanna Be: This third chapter of the Bridget Jones saga is fully aware of what it does and doesn’t want to be. The film relishes the same dry, self aware and almost self deprecating humor surrounding Bridget’s inability to break messy, indulgent, self destructive patterns in her life. Bridget confidently states her life improving attentions each day as the audiences watches a montage of these vows being promptly broken. We see Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy repeat the same mistakes that implicitly cause the end of their romance, from taking business calls to showing up late to doctor appointments.
Bridget Jones’s Baby returns to this familiarity without slipping into the same tiresome repetition that was the downfall of the immediate sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Instead of dwelling in her downfalls, by the end of the film Bridget slowly grows pride in the flawed person she is by trying to be the best version of herself instead of someone better. Mark attempts to throw caution to the wind only to realize that in some situations, it pays to take life seriously.
All By Myself: The only area in which Bridget Jones’s Baby stumbles is during the final act, when Bridget resigns herself to the fact that she might be in this pregnancy and the journey of motherhood on her own. Although her clumsy forgetfulness and innate inability to maneuver through her days as a high functioning adult are all part of her charm, the feminist in me is disappointed and more than a little uncomfortable with witnessing her fail so colossally and swiftly when she is briefly left to take a shot at it alone. Her coy desperation and desire to find a mate while she makes mistake after mistake along the way is the primary driving force of Bridget’s journey, but it was a minor letdown not to get the opportunity to witness her learn to stand on her own for at least a little while before her baby’s daddy showed back up to catch her when she fell.
Overall: Although not as progressively feminist as a 2016 romantic comedy would hope to be, Bridget Jones’s Baby is a hilariously satisfying revisit to franchise that pays equal parts homage and parody to the rom com genre.
Featured Image: Universal Pictures