Based on Helen Fielding’s novels, the Bridget Jones series has been popular. There’s something people relate to with Bridget continually determined to improve her life. The heroine has spun off from the pages to screen in two previously successful films.
Twelve years after her last silver screen outing, she returns in Bridget Jones’s Baby. As fluffily undemanding as ever, her exploits conjure gentle mirth instead of hilarity. Fans of the easy-going adventures should be happy with the newest offering challenging Bridget’s steely resolve.
The eternally love-lorn Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is in a quandary. Recently breaking up with her true love, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), she aims to focus her energies on her job as a news producer. Thinking life is going well, she meets handsome American Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Falling for his charms, Bridget learns she is pregnant. Unsure if Jack or Darcy is the father, Bridget’s life is thrown into a tail-spin while the men in her life battle to provide her with her longed-for ‘happily ever after’.
Bridget Jones’s Baby plays like a romantic comic-book. Played in very broad strokes, it’s a fantastical comedy with cartoonish characters and ridiculous situations. It almost nearly doesn’t work but due to the performances, it passes. Making it succeed is its abundance of charm, recalling the likes of Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Those films had strong female leads and, while Zellweger is no Audrey Hepburn, her winning personality and witty script overcome any blemishes.
Of the cast, it’s Dempsey who should receive the most praise. He has the unenviable task of slotting into a film filled with established characters whilst making his own. He more than ably achieves this with his scenes opposite the always refined Firth crackling with genteel tension. Sharon Maguire directs with assurance, filming scenes with a glossily colourful palette. The humour is amusing without being crass and makes an effort to raise a few chuckles using wit rather than cringe-worthy vulgarity.
It may have been a long time between films but Bridget Jones’s Baby is a welcome return of a beloved heroine. It may not provide constant laughs but it has a heart that many in the genre lack. No doubt it will cement the character’s popularity with the love-struck in the audience sure to sympathise with her predicaments.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 6