Beattie Edmondson, Bridget Jones, Colin Firth, Ed Sheeran, Emma Thompson, Gemma Jones, Hugh Grant, James Callis, Jennifer Saunders, Jim Broadbent, Mark Darcy, Patrick Dempsey, Renée Zellweger, Sally Phillips, Sarah Solemani, Shirley Henderson, Tom Rosenthal
I don’t think this film needs any introduction really, it’s been the most anticipated release of the year and one which Bridget Jones fans have been begging for years to be made. Bridget Jones’s Baby is the third film in the series – but confusingly it’s set before the events of the third novel – and is Renée Zellweger’s first film in 6 years after having a break from the industry. The first two films, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), have become rom-com classics and so there was a huge expectation towards this new offering.
It’s been 12 years since the last film and we left Bridget happily engaged to Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), however within seconds of Bridget Jones’s Baby starting it is clear that Bridget is once again alone – only now she is 43 and facing up to the fact that all her friends are happily married with children and her new boss is a lot younger than her. After a drunken night with a stranger at a music festival (Jack, played by Patrick Dempsey) and another night spent with Mark, Bridget finds herself pregnant and no clue as to which of the men is the father. Bridget must then spend the next 9 months figuring out who it could be, and which of the men she wants to be with, without them finding out about each other. Inevitably the men do find out the truth and so then the two compete with each other to win Bridget’s affections.
Renée is back to her best, it’s almost as if no time has past between films as her portrayal of Bridget is exactly the same. She is still the slightly clumsy, down-to-earth character we all fell in love with – only now a slimmer version! Renée brings a lot of the laughs – and there are plenty of laughs!! – proving that she is still brilliant at comedic roles. Colin Firth is back as Mark Darcy and he too fits back into the role perfectly. Patrick Dempsey has been brought in to replace Hugh Grant’s character Daniel Cleaver, so there is still the element of male competition towards Bridget as in the previous two films. Patrick brings with him an American charm (and he’s also a little easy on the eye…) and actually his character fits into the dynamic very well. Of course it would have been nice to have the original three back together but Patrick’s character brings a freshness to the story.
Apart from Hugh, all the original cast are back and all still brilliant characters. Bridget’s parents played by Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones, and her friends Shazzer (Sally Phillips), Jude (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (James Callis) are much the same just slightly older and all adapting to this new chapter in their lives. There’s also a lot of new faces who are equally brilliant, Sarah Solemani plays Miranda, Bridget’s work best friend, who is slightly younger and keeps Bridget up to date with new crazes, and Bridget’s assistants are played by Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner) and Beattie Edmondson (aka Jennifer Saunders’ daughter). There’s even a cameo from the lovely Ed Sheeran which is hilarious and Emma Thompson is fantastic as Bridget’s Doctor.
Overall, I was worried that Bridget Jones’s Baby wouldn’t be able to keep up with the high standard of the previous two but actually I think this might possibly be even better! It’s a genuinely funny film, there are so many moments throughout that the whole cinema were crying out with laughter – something which doesn’t happen very often! – and I love how the writers have kept the same Bridget and yet progressed her so that she is still fitting to this era. Her character is still very much one in which women can relate to on a day-to-day basis, and I think that is why the first two films were so successful. There is no doubt that this third instalment will go on to achieve the same accolades and will become a much-loved film for all ages. I for one can’t wait to watch it again, and again, and again….!