Bridget Jones’ Baby is everything a not-a-girl-every-inch-a-woman-chick-flick should be.
Forty-three, single, career driven, unafraid to show off a few wrinkles and not giving a hoot about whether her thighs resemble tree trunks, this is our Bridget Jones and yes, it’s every bit the goofy, feel good rom-com drama that you would expect from the ongoing saga of finding love in this crazy beautiful world.
Except this time, there’s not just one, but two men.
Declaring herself an independent woman and going glamping for a weekend (yes, all those muddy moments, hoarse voices and over-priced backstage passes are right here) she is rescued by Jack, a handsome American (Patrick Dempsey) who gives her everything she’s looking for at a music festival, and the romance seems to end with the sun coming up – at least for Bridget. After all, she is single so why not? But then a week later she finds herself catching up with her recently divorced flame Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) at her god-daughter’s baptism and sparks begin to fly as lovers reunite. But like her previous midnight tryst she leaves her lover in the morning, determined not to ignore the reliable signs of past behaviour.
But then the unimaginable happens and the story is no longer about which man does a woman choose – but how do you navigate a chaotic workplace environment, an old-fashioned mother and pre-natal classes when you discover that a baby is on the way and you have no idea who is the father? Halleluiah! We’re no longer counting calories and pounding the scales but actually having a conversation of modern day values for women and what that means in our world today – and whatever else the film lacks, at least it’s making a firm step in the right direction.
It’s not perfect but as Emma Thompson (who plays Bridget’s obstetrician with delightful cynicism) says, “It’s like X-factor” because as with the show, it doesn’t really matter who wins, or in this case, whose sperm made it through the front door. What is far more entertaining are all the comedic exchanges, heartfelt confessions, necessary education and coming-of-age-at-forty-three drama that helps take this film through forty weeks of changes.
The three screen writers (Emma Thompson, Helen Fielding and Dan Mazer) have thankfully left the 90s behind and instead focused on giving this older and wiser incarnation of our heroine a touch of modern sensibility. It’s not terribly sophisticated but unlike the Bridget of old who would have drowned her sorrows while yowling ‘All by myself’ this Bridget changes the music to House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ – and that’s exactly what she does, in her penguin pajamas and now gentrified borough neighbourhood as she swills her vino back.
It’s an excellent comeback from the emotional disaster that was Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason and undoubtedly will become a favourite. The soundtrack dips in and out of the past and present, somewhat erratically it must be said, but its familiar enough no matter whether you love Marvin Gaye or Rihanna – at some point you probably have (or will) love them both.
Bridget, on the other hand, she’s still as lovable as ever.