Oh my god, guys.
Bridget Jones 3 is okay.
I am genuinely in shock.
Seriously, this movie blew my expectations right out of the water. I went in expecting nothing, and am happy to report that I was wrong to do so. Not only is Bridget Jones’s Baby watchable, but a lot of the time it’s actually enjoyable. How cool is that? Good on you, Bridget Jones. Teaching me not to judge a book by its cover.
The third film in the Bridget Jones trilogy picks up twelve years after the second installment, with a now 43 year old Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) still single and growing increasingly uncomfortable with both her age and relationship status. After two separate romantic encounters within the same week, Bridget (SPOILER) discovers she’s pregnant. But who’s the father? Is it her stuffy British ex (Colin Firth) or the mysterious new love guru millionaire she’s only just met (Patrick Dempsey)? Hilarity ensues.
No seriously, it does.
This movie has a lot going for it. There were many scenes in Bridget Jones’s Baby that had me laughing out loud because they was so funny, in addition to the several moments that I genuinely found to be a little touching. Considering that this is a romantic comedy, that’s a pretty big mission accomplished. I actually have to think back several years before I can recall another rom-com that achieved BOTH aspects of its genre’s title. Of course, that’s not to suggest this is a perfect film, or even a consistent one by any means.
It seemed that for every scene in Bridget Jones’s Baby that landed, there were at least two that did not, and considering its preposterous 125 minute runtime, that is a lot of scenes that don’t work as well as the filmmakers thought they would. While it is true that several of the jokes come totally out of left field and are truly clever and fresh, a great deal of the film’s humor relies on the idea that our 40-something years old protagonists are out of touch with our millennial-run society. (Instagram? What? LOL!) These scenes all fall so flat and take up so much of the run-time, it produces many a cringe. They’re not horrible. They’re just not funny. And when a comedy isn’t funny, it’s just boring. Comically, its highs are high and its lows are somewhere in the middle. This is just one of the many ways in which this film seems out of touch.
For example, the conflict that drives the movie is Bridget’s need to determine the identity of her baby’s biological father. This plotline is insanely outdated… and the movie knows it! There are several scenes in the film that seem to exist solely to address the fact that, in our modern society, it is perfectly normal for a woman to raise a child on her own. The movie seemed to think that saying that it’s progressive is just as good as actually having a plotline to reflect those values.
Overall, Bridget Jones’s Baby is far better than reason says it should be. While it may not be the most societally enlightened plot for a movie to have, the setup does lead to some surprisingly funny punchlines scattered throughout. The performers all have great chemistry and timing (even newcomer Dempsey has his moments) and the direction and editing stand out from usual romantic comedy blandness from time to time. It’s far from a perfect movie, but my god I liked it more than I thought I would. If you’re a fan of the previous films, or just in need something fun to see on a date-night, you might actually have a good time with Bridget Jones’s Baby.