'Bridget Jones’s Baby' review: Renee Zellweger brings back beloved character in warm-hearted sequel
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Emma Thompson, left, and Renee Zellweger in a scene from "Bridget Jones's Baby."
Bridget Jones’s Baby
- Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Emma Thompson
- Directed by: Sharon Maguire
- Written by: Helen Fielding, Emma Thompson, Dan Mazer
- Duration: 120 minutes
Work, romance, self-image — Bridget Jones grapples with some of the issues everyone faces and lets you laugh about them at the same time.
Renee Zellweger made Bridget a lovable screen character in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), so much so that the character survived a mediocre sequel — Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).
Fans will be pleased to know that the new movie, Bridget Jones’s Baby, is very funny.
It’s an unexpected treat.
The film catches up to Bridget at 43, still single and working hard as a producer on TV news.
At a music festival with her TV colleague (Sarah Solemani), Bridget has a one-night stand with an American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey); just a few days later, she runs into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who is still carrying a torch for her.
When Bridget discovers she’s pregnant, she learns, a bit too late, that condoms have a best-before date.
She also learns that there’s no way of knowing if the father is Mark Darcy or the American, Jack. Bridget decides to forge ahead regardless.
Bridget is independent and quite happy to be having a baby, but she has to deal with the reactions of other people. Both Mark and Jack are keen to be the father of Bridget’s baby, so until testing confirms paternity, both men do their best to step up, courting Bridget and accompanying her to prenatal classes.
The men are jealous and competitive (and funny). Still, they’re mostly window dressing. The love triangle is a scrap of nostalgia at this stage of the game.
This is Bridget’s story, and as it unfolds her interactions with other women are just as important.
There’s her world-weary obstetrician (Emma Thompson) to contend with, her terrifying new young boss (Kate O’Flynn, spectacularly funny here) and her worried mother (Gemma Jones) — all comic gold. There might be one too many subplots in there, but the movie is so good-hearted it doesn’t matter.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is just as wicked and silly as you’d hope, only on a more grown-up level, as befits the subject matter.
All of Bridget’s old gang turns for this sequel. The only person missing is Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), but the story accounts for his whereabouts.
The movie has more smarts than mush, which is what one hopes for in a romantic comedy. Maybe it’s as simple as having Sharon Maguire return to direct this film, as she did the first one — Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Or maybe it’s having Emma Thompson as one of the writers on the screenplay. In delivering Bridget’s baby, Thompson’s character also delivers some of the most terrific comic lines in the film; it seems fair to assume she wrote them, too.
Bridget Jones’s Baby leaves two happy impressions:
1) Welcome back Bridget!
2) More Emma Thompson, please.