‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ is a Romantic Comedy and the third film in the Bridget Jones franchise, following ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’ (2004), and returns with the same director in Sharon Maguire. Bridget Jones is once again single and just after getting back into the dating world she winds up becoming pregnant and is only 50% sure of who the father could be, and so a mystery ensues and the plot thickens. The first two Bridget Jones films were successful both in terms of the box office and reception, but that was over 12 years ago, so the biggest problem this film had was having to not only regain the interest of fans of the first two films, but also to bring in a new audience. A tough task that this film accomplishes fairly well. The plot of this film is a simple enough one and is quite engaging and entertaining……. once it begins that is. It carries over the same style of humour from the first two films and shares many similar qualities that made the first two films so beloved, and balances the humour and the romance in an effectively entertaining way.
Hugh Grant is the only main cast member who does not return for this sequel but he makes way for the inclusion of two extremely talented actors in Patrick Dempsey (Jack) and Emma Thompson (Dr Rawlings). Dempsey essentially replaces Grant as the competing love interest for Bridget Jones who is going toe to toe with Colin Firth to win her heart. He was a great addition to the cast and added a lot not only with his acting talents but in terms of the humour. Aside from Bridget herself, Dempsey did add a lot of humour and charisma into the film as they had plenty of very good back and forth scenes with a lot of on-screen chemistry. Thompson, was a very entertaining side character who only features in a handful of scenes but every joke of hers hit and that made for some of the more entertaining moments.
Renee Zellweger has the character of Bridget still nailed down and it really did feel like an older, different Bridget that actually hasn’t changed all that much. The clumsy and silly humour of Bridget Jones definitely makes a comeback here and she is still such a fun disaster of a character that you cant help but laugh at her misfortune. Sarah Solemani also stars in this film as Bridget’s co-worker and best friend Miranda, who also adds a very good amount of humour to the film when she is featured on screen. I will say though that not all of the humour in the film did hit, there was definitely plenty throughout that did which was good, but there were a considerable amount of misses that just felt a little too forced. This was mainly early on in the film as it picks itself up once the second act picks up.
The biggest issue i had with the film was the length of time spent on reintroducing us to Bridget and the various characters early in the film. It maybe took around 30-40 minutes for the ‘baby’ plot point to come to fruition. Up until that point it was catching us up with the time in between this film and the last, and introducing the new characters who would play a much larger part later in the film. Both are very necessary components to include in a film coming this late but it shouldn’t have taken more than 20 minutes at the most and that time shaved off would have made the film more compact and not as unnecessarily drawn out.
So in the end, if you are a fan of the previous two Bridget Jones films, there is no reason why you wouldn’t get the same level of joy from this film as it brings back everything that makes the franchise so good. It’s a very enjoyable film with plenty of fun and humour but does take a little while for the plot to kick in which would have improved the film. The additions to the cast are very very good and you’ll completely forget about Hugh Grant the moment Patrick Dempsey is introduced.