All of the female members of my family have a great love for Bridget Jones and her films, I however until just a few weeks ago had never seen one of them. In preparation for this threequel I watched the first two films, knowing full well that I wasn’t the target audience. This was clear as I found the title character to be quite irritating and the films themselves even worse. ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ was average but watchable whist sequel ‘Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason’ was just woeful. With that in mind I didn’t have massive expectations for the third attempt.
Renee Zellweger returns as title character Bridget Jones and effortlessly slips back into character after over a decade despite her difference in appearance. She really is great here and I would struggle to see any other actress play the role. I don’t know if I have just become accustomed to the character or whether her clumsy nature was played down here but I no longer found Jones irritating. Colin Firth also reprises his role as Mark Darcy but there was no sign of Hugh Grant this time round so enter Patrick Dempsey who plays Bridget’s new flame, Jack Qwant. Both actors are good here and the film is at its best when it showcases the rivalry between the pair. If only this had been explored slightly more than the film could have been a real comedic triumph. Most of the characters who appeared in the previous installments return once more played by the same actors including the likes of Jim Broadbent, Sally Phillips and Shirley Henderson. It’s nice to have that level of continuity in the cast even with the gap in time from the last film. There are some newcomers too with Emma Thompson and Sarah Solemani being the most notable of the new cast. The film gets the screen time for each character just right although fans might want to see a little more of Bridget’s old gang.
More often than not my issues with the first two films came as a result of the poorly paced narrative and with ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ being the longest of the three films I had my worries. At first the film does struggle to get going and my attention was wavering up until the revelation of Bridget’s bun in the oven comes to light. After this though I was pleasantly surprised as to how quickly things moved along. This had much to do with the comedy which was actually quite funny, the film always manages to be amusing even if not causing belly laughs. If not for the overlong first act of the film I would say that the pacing was spot on here but it’s still too long at the two hour mark. Running time and length aside though ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ is easily the funniest, most watchable and best of the series.
Fans of Bridget and the series so far will have a ball here and ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ might even convert past critics of the films. It takes too long to get going and is still slightly too long but this aside the film has a lot going for it. Zellweger and Firth are great in their familiar roles and Dempsey offers something fresh and different from the previous films. The competitive antics between Firth and Dempsey are the funniest moments in the film but there are plenty of other laughs along the way too.
Rating – 7/10
Question: What is your all time favourite rom-com?
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