Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bridget Jones's Baby

By George M. Thomas

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) celebrates her birthday in
a familiar way in Bridget Jones's Baby.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY will most certainly be labeled “chick flick” by some, a statement that is sexist on one level and very much accurate on another.

To be quite honest, of the three Bridget flicks that have hit over the course of the past 15 years, BABY is the funniest and most enjoyable.

The primary reason for that:  Bridget (Renee Zellweger) has evolved as a person.  She’s not the individual worried constantly and consistently about her love life, sex life or anything else related to the matters of amour.

In fact, as she celebrates her 43rd birthday alone as the film opens, she’s not disappointed because she’s not with who she thought was her soulmate, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).  Instead it’s the company of friends she craves. 

That’s a big step for the Bridget fans knew from the first two films. More importantly, she exhibits confidence in her career as a television news producer, receives respect from co-workers and more importantly has control of that aspect of her life.

She’s also the type to go for a weekend with a co-worker to a rock festival and take her advice while there – getting laid.  As it turns out, unbeknownst to her, she beds a billionaire (Patrick Dempsey).  Takes what she wants and disappears.

Less than a week later, circumstances and fate stick her and Darcy together and they end up taking a nostalgic roll in the sack.  But Bridget, who understands career is his priority, won’t take the same path, or so she thinks.

A month later, she finds herself pregnant and with a dilemma.  Who’s the father?  Not exactly an ideal situation – one not helped by the fact that she doesn’t know her billionaire boytoy’s name. It turns out his name is Jack and Bridget has to deliver the news that he might be the father.  Of course she must do the same with Darcy.

Many of the laughs, however, come from the fact that initially neither one realizes the other is in the picture.  The audience is in on the joke, but Darcy and Jack? Nope.  While that proves to be a source of consternation for Bridget, it offers all sorts of amusement for her OB-GYN (Emma Thompson), who revels in the situation.

Sharon Maguire, who helmed the original Bridget Jones film, generally keeps the laughs flowing despite occasionally succumbing to languid pacing.  She has little problem going with the movie’s more risqué aspects.

As for the cast, it may be weird to say but Zellweger, Firth and Dempsey possess chemistry and it comes through in the film. Firth’s dry British charm and sense of humor plays well off well against Dempsey’s jokey American.  And Zellweger?  She seems to deliver the right reaction, comedic or otherwise, at the right moment.

Packed with laughs for much of its run time, BRIDGET JONES’S BABY comes off as a bundle of joy.

Director:  Sharon Maguire
Cast:  Renee Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey, Colin Firth
Studio:  Universal
Rated:  R for language, sex references and some nudity
Running time:  122 minutes
George’s rating: 3-of-4 stars

Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, ClevelandCinemas, and

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