Over fifteen years ago, we were introduced to a clumsy, lighthearted, spirited British woman, determined to improve herself while she looked for love in a year in which she kept a personal diary. Since then, we’ve seen her fall in and out of love, lose and gain weight, struggle with embarrassing parents, and deal with a cast of devoted friends.
This time Renee Zellweger is back as the lovable, flawed, self-doubting woman on a mission, whose inner monologue is the audience trusted friend. Despite failing to find happily ever after with the strict and slightly arrogant Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), she’s still single, almost 43, and dealing with the fact her friends have started families of their own.
Like the previous installments, Bridget turns to her Chardonnay and trusty Jamie O’Neal’s “All By Myself.” However, instead of the usual sulking, Bridget is tricked into attending a music festival, where she conveniently meets Jack (Patrick Dempsey), who happens to be a millionaire entrepreneur.
During a night of drunken Ed Sheeran (yes, the singer) escapades, she finds herself in the bed of McDreamy. To further complicated matters, Mr. Darcy has walked back into her life thus leading to another sexual encounter. While Bridget is celebrating getting her groove back, she not only discovers she’s pregnant, but because the encounters happened so closely, she has no idea who the father is — which is only made funnier due to her highly amused doctor (played by Emma Thompson).
Bridget Jones’s Baby is a delightful escape. Director Sharon Maguire does her best to bring forth humor in what could be a repetitive, unoriginal romantic comedy. Most of the humor comes from Emma Thompson who serves as a co-writer and as a result, her sharp witty lines make for one of the most entertaining movies in the franchise.
The movie is far from perfect. Baby is a film for fans of the franchise, however director Sharon Maguire didn’t get the memo. Instead of trusting the audience and their devotion/memory of the series, she relies too heavily on flashbacks and music montages so that by the time the baby’s father is revealed, the audience is exhausted.
A pure nostalgic film, fans will instantly fall back in love with Jones. There’s a sort of easiness to Zellweger, Firth and Dempsey that feels like everyone is having fun rather than reciting lines. The rivalry between Firth and Dempsey comes across as lighthearted and supportive.
When it’s not beating you over the head with images of yesteryear, the film is refreshing. Despite the storyline, this is not an episode of the Maury Povich Show.
Completely rewriting life in the real world, Baby is a film without any real consequence; where there’s nothing to worry about because at the end of the day, everything will be tied together with a neat adorable bow. While this would be a problem with most films, when it comes to escapism like this, sometimes it’s best to just let it go.