Release date: 16th September 2016/Watch the trailer here
The always loveable and ever relatable Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is back for the first time in twelve years, now armed with an iPad instead of a diary and finally at her ideal weight, but otherwise pretty much the same old Bridget. Following two one-night stands with two different men – handsome American online dating magnate Jack (Patrick Dempsey), and (of course) Bridget’s ex love-of-her-life, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) – Bridget finds herself pregnant and only fifty per cent sure of who the father is.
Bridget Jones’s Diary chooses – quite sensibly – to stick to the safe, well-trodden path for this sequel, never delivering anything particularly new but offering plenty of the charm and quirkiness that made Bridget Jones so popular in the first place. This is partly thanks to a terrific screenplay co-written by author Helen Fielding (with a little help from the scene-stealing Emma Thompson), and also, of course, because of Renée Zellweger’s wonderfully sweet and adorably goofy performance. The supporting cast, too, are all excellent – Firth does what he does best, Dempsey adds a touch of modern charm, while veterans such as Thompson, Gemma Jones (Mum) and Jim Broadbent (Dad) bring the laughs.
And there are laughs aplenty: Bridget Jones’s Baby is genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish. It’s a film akin to comfort food; heartwarming and the ultimate pick-me-up on a gloomy day. It’s impossible to feel glum while watching Bridget take on everything that life throws at her with resolute determination. Every woman can see something of herself in Bridget’s insecurities and vulnerabilities, and it makes her a hugely sympathetic character that you can’t help but root for.
And amid all of the emotion and the sharp wit, there’s physical comedy, too – from Bridget falling flat on her face as she attempts to traverse a muddy festival in high heels, to Jack and Mark trying to figure out the intricacies of a hospital revolving door as they’re carrying an in-labour Bridget – it’s all executed to hilarious perfection.
It’s a pleasant surprise when, so often, sequels that come over a decade on from their original success leave a sour taste and a feeling of ‘they shouldn’t have bothered’. Everything about Bridget Jones’s Baby is so reminiscent of Bridget Jones’s Diary that it feels like a long overdue catch-up with an old friend – right down to the slightly stretched-out runtime, because no one’s eager to say their goodbyes just yet. You will laugh a lot, maybe cry just a little bit, and you will keenly anticipate your next reunion.