How many second sequels can the reader name that are worth watching? Two spring to mind, possibly three. Bridget Jones’s Baby then seems to be at somewhat of a disadvantage, and the reader could be forgiven for thinking this further evidence of the film industry’s wellspring of imagination running yet dryer. Thankfully the film does not reach the murky depths of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and while not every joke hits the mark the third instalment to the Bridget Jones franchise does subvert some expectations.
The main plot revolves around Bridget attempting to discern who the father of her child is, resident love interest Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) or newcomer Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey). It would seem intellectually dishonest to discuss this film without reference to its feminist narrative, and while this reviewer may feel unqualified to address the nuances of such a subject, it does seem as though the progressive notes in this film are struck genuinely, as well as in a perhaps more mature manner than its predecessors.
The music is forgettable, with the obvious exception of Ed Sheeran’s brief cameo and as previously stated some of the jokes do fall flat, though one can expect a few genuinely laugh out loud moments too. Emma Thompson gives the most memorable performance, though this triumph is mitigated by her involvement in a fairly formulaic screenplay. For better or worse, Bridget Jones’s Baby is heavily laden with tropes of the genre, enthusiasts may note that a charming yet villainous American competing with an awkward Brit is not stunningly original (see every Hugh Grant movie).
Colin Firth claimed in an interview shortly before its release that the film “had nostalgia on its side” and this would seem to be a rare case of an actor underselling their own film. While it is undeniable that much of the audience will be drawn by fond memories of the original, there are enough laughs in this latest addition to make it generally capable of standing on its own.
Image: Siebbi; Wikimedia Commons