It’s been far too long since we last experienced Bridget Jones on film – 12 years to be exact. Well, now you can head to the movie theater and get ready to laugh at the film-world’s funniest unwed mother who keeps on bumbling along.
Bridget Jones is having a birthday we see as the newest installment opens up on the screen. Before you read any further, let me just say that Bridget Jones’s Baby is as fabulous as the original Diary. Now, are we surprised, that she’s alone in her pajamas on the couch of her cozy and shabby London flat with a single cupcake and a single lit candle? No, we are not. Bridget is turning 43, and sadly it seems that it’s Bridget Jones’s consigned fate that she that she remain a singleton for the rest of her never-quite-right life.
What makes Bridget so lovable – she’s a klutzy goofball with little self confidence – is exactly what has held her back from finding a lasting Mr. Right. Admirably, in the 12 years since we last saw her, Bridget has gotten it together enough at work, through slogging dedication, to be a top news producer at a daily London show. She takes pride in her job and in the fact that she’s finally lost most of those extra 15 pounds from equal dedication to regular spin classes.
But, Bridget’s natural tendency to live in her own dreamworld means she still is barely pulled together when she leaves her apartment – stray hairs are always coming out of her loose hair-dos, her wardrobe looks like it came out of a flea market and she is still always tripping and losing a shoe. In other words, she’s totally relatable to 95% of the female population that isn’t Kendall Jenner.
In Bridget’s case, her not-togetherness has worked against her having a love life, and even a sex life, for a long time, as we find out. Her one ‘true love’ Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) is ten years in the past and now has a perfect and perfectly put-together wife, who, of course, is called “Camilla.” But, while Bridget may be down, she’s not entirely out. And, once her new single bestie, Miranda, the host on her TV show, lures her into having a wild weekend at an outdoor music festival, Bridget’s romantic possibilities are revived.
Renee Zellweger is back as Bridget and she is as perfect for her as ever. Renee admitted that she “fell in love” with Bridget in a panel discussion at a lunch organized by Peggy Siegal in NYC this week, hosted for the cast, director and Bridget Jones’s writer, Helen Fielding. She had to love her or it wouldn’t look so natural for her to fall head first, wearing an all-white outfit, into a pile of mud at the music festival. But, that’s Bridget.
Happily, it’s an internet billionaire (though she doesn’t know that about him for quite some time) Jack Qwant, who pulls her out. Jack, it turns out, has a hugely successful dating algorithm he is selling, but he, himself hasn’t fallen in love.
Through Bridget’s usual drunken bumbling, she and Jack, played by Patrick Dempsey, who is as McDreamy as ever, end up having hot sex and using Bridget’s vegan condoms, which turn out to be expired. In Trainwreck style, Bridget flees in the morning, proud of herself for being a SPILF (single version of a MILF) and without ever thinking that Jack would want to see her again.
Then, oddly, six days later, she goes to a baby christening and comes face to face with terminally uptight Mr. Darcy, who is in the midst of a divorce and is seduced by the sight of the adorably undone Bridget. As Colin Firth described him, Mark Darcy is as rigidly together as Bridget is a hot mess. “Mr. Darcy was Mr. Constipated, you need a massage and a colonic after playing him – he is exhausting,” he said at the NYC panel.
Nevertheless, after the christening, Bridget and Mark also end up in bed with the vegan condoms for a night of passion, but before he can say, “Let’s start seeing each other again,” Bridget has fled the scene.
Again, we can get it. After decades of romantic disappointments, Bridget is just not ready to put her heart back out there again to get hurt. Especially by Mr. Darcy. The only problem is that a few weeks later, Bridget is late on her period and her drugstore-bought test is very clear – she’s pregnant! At 43! And, she has no idea of who the baby daddy is!
Her deadpan comical gynecologist, played by Emma Thompson, is no help whatsoever. She assures Bridget that there’s no way to tell who the daddy is without a DNA test, and for that, you need a baby.
It’s a situation that brings out the very best Bridget dithering. She has to find out who Jack is – she actually didn’t even know his name! She has to tell both men. But, naturally, she puts off telling each man about the other’s possible involvement until long after both Jack and Mark have fallen in love with the idea of fatherhood and with her.
The laughs out loud are endless. The situations are ridiculous but completely entertaining. And, in true Bridget style, it looks like she may, nevertheless, still end up all by herself again, but with a baby.
It’s the funniest, most screwball love triangle, maybe in this century. So, head to the theaters, bring some tissues and settle in for a good time getting reacquainted with Bridget Jones.
Hollywoodlifers, do you want to check out Bridget Jones’s Baby? Let me know!