What’s It About? It’s been 12 years since Renée Zellweger last starred as the chardonnay-chugging, London-living singleton in the sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. And after a 6-year break from making movies, Zellweger is back and on fantastic form in Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Verdict: Zellweger steps back into the role with ease, giving a warm and witty performance. Likewise, the role of Mark Darcy still fits Colin Firth like a made-to-measure suit.
The whereabouts of Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver, who was a big part of the previous movies, is dealt with in a neat and totally fitting manner, and his absence opens up the way for a new leading man brought to life by Patrick Dempsey, who’s best known as Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy.
Dempsey puts in a suitably suave turn as a billionaire dating guru called Jack Qwant, whose name sounds like he should be either a film noir detective or a 1950s movie star. Dempsey’s character gets several Prince Charming-style moments in the movie, which made me think back to his role alongside Amy Adams in Enchanted.
Though some might miss the conflict between Firth’s upstanding Darcy and Grant’s caddish Cleaver, it’s good to have something a little different this third time around, with the tension now being between the uptight McDarcy and the laid-back McDreamy. Bridget’s mates may make slightly fewer appearances than they did in the first films, but Zellweger still gets solid support from a returning cast of friends and family, including actors Sally Phillips, Gemma Jones, and Jim Broadbent.
Sarah Solemani puts in a pretty damn perfect comedic performance as Bridget’s TV news anchor friend, as does Kate O’Flynn as Bridget’s new, younger boss. And a special shout-out goes to Emma Thompson who makes her mark on the film with a screenwriting credit alongside Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding and Ali G writer Dan Mazer. And Thompson also plays the role of Bridget’s doctor, who gets some wickedly funny lines, which Thompson delivers in a wonderfully dry style.
If you’ve watched Bridget Jones’s Diary, you’ll notice a few moments that deliberately echo scenes in that film while putting a twist on them; but there are also moments where the filmmakers make a clear point of consciously stepping away from what happened in the earlier films. And it’s nice to see the filmmakers obviously have a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour about both their own movie, and rom-coms and romantic movies in general.
There are so many jokes from humorous one-liners to amusing and deliberately awkward set-pieces and outstanding physical comedy, that the laughs are truly plentiful, making Bridget Jones’s Baby a wonderfully fun and funny ride from the opening credits right to the very end.
Blu-ray Extras: Extended End Credits; Gag Reel; Deleted and Alternate Scenes; multi-part documentary Full Circle: The Making of Bridget Jones’s Baby including: Renee Returns, The Difference that 15 Years Makes, Bridget’s Boys, In London In Love, and Sharon’s Show.
Final Words: Bridget Jones’s Baby is a fabulously funny return for both the movie’s main character and its leading lady. Not only are there many moments that made me smile, but there are also a load that made me laugh out loud.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is available on Blu-ray & DVD on 30 January 2017 and is also available on Digital Download now from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.