I’m sure I’m not the only female Londoner who sees herself on screen at more than one point during the utterly brilliant Bridget Jones’s Baby and that is what is so compelling about Helen Fielding’s infamous character. The story of a somewhat clumsy, socially inept yet stoical single woman who has striven for a successful career at the expense of a meaningful relationship, strikes right to the heart of so many of us.
The third in the hugely successful film franchise sees our modern day heroin alone again and well into her forties, facing a future without love, while everyone around appears to be enjoying the fairytale she so desires. Former lovers linger in her mind like a nagging elderly relative who won’t get on and die and an exciting fling leads to some complicated conundrums.
As with the previous episodes (Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The edge of Reason) Bridget Jones’s Baby invites us to experience the loneliness of contemporary living, while suggesting that there is still hope as long as we gain a set of more attainable expectations.
This was the first of the trilogy I had watched without previously reading the novel, which gave me a much more open opinion of the flow of action.
Renée Zellweger’s lovable Bridget still harnesses everything that is wonderful about British comedy; perfectly timed slapstick, self-deprecation and an abundance of sarcasm. Patrick Dempsey is adorable and hateful in equal measure as new beau Jack and Colin Firth maintains his unwavering stiff upper lip as Mark Darcy.
Okay, there are a few moments when the tale becomes a little far fetched (like a dash to the maternity unit in a pizza delivery wagon), but on the whole, every ounce of humour is extricated from the very real and everyday scenarios without them ever becoming over egged and they therefore remain totally believable and fully relatable.
As the title would suggest, the tale concludes with an offspring being invited into the world and the scenes immediately following the happy event are real tearjerkers, particularly for parents, but the ability of the film to have audiences sobbing one minute and laughing like a drain the next, makes Bridget Jones’s Baby a complete triumph as far as I’m concerned.