Twitter review: 9 months is a long time to wait for a baby. It’s also a bit of a drag having to wait before some of the laughs come out.
Spoiler-free review: Bridget Jones is like one of those friends whom you haven’t seen in ages, who you can take delight in by sitting back and having a few drinks and enjoying their presence. But then after awhile, you start to realize that maybe all those years of not seeing them wasn’t the worst thing in the world, seeing as how long it can take to get to a point.
Renee Zellweger is back as Bridget Jones, now in her 40s but not yet fully in mid-life crisis mode. At the end of the second film it was heavily implied that she was finally going to cross the finish line and marry Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy, especially after having spent two films figuring out if she was going to be with him or with Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver. Sadly, Daniel is killed off screen, and we’re caught up with the fact that Mark had married someone else when Bridget and Mark attend Daniel’s funeral (why Mark would attend this funeral is never really explained, other than it was ‘proper’ – shorthand for “We know he has no real reason for being here, but we needed some excuse to get him on the screen”). Bridget, producer of a news program that is more about sensationalism than news, is convinced to go to a music festival with her friend and the anchor of the news program Miranda. While at the music festival, she winds up meeting Jack, who is handsome (though he never loses his five o’clock shadow during the whole film) and the two have sex together before Bridget leaves. A week later, she bumps again into Mark, who reveals that he’s divorcing his wife, and THEY wind up having sex together.
It should be no shocker, based on the title of the film, that Bridget is soon pregnant. Except she doesn’t know which of the two is the father. This is made all the more hard for her when she finds out that Jack is Jack Quant, author of an algorithm that is supposed to predict whether two people are a match for each other (I’m convinced the writers came up with this name solely so they could come up with the cringe-inducing name ‘Quantum Leap’ for his book and website) and who has a book out which makes him also very rich. And rather than run the minimal risk that something might happen to her baby while determining who the father might be, Bridget decides to at first keep both men in the dark about the other – until that plan doesn’t work either.
Patrick Dempsey does a decent job as Jack, being a potential love interest to Bridget. He’s kind, he’s thoughtful, and even when he finds out about Mark, he’s still willing to go to yoga class with Mark and Bridget, having a bit of fun by pretending that Mark is his lover and Bridget is the surrogate. The problem with Jack, though, is that for Bridget to still want to be with Mark, Jack has to be a bit of an asshole. Which he is for part of the film. But the big weakness is that he’s not Hugh Grant’s Daniel asshole. There was a moment in the film when I thought Mark and Jack would wind up throwing punches at each other, reminiscent of the fights Mark and Daniel had in the first two films. But nothing. Which is a bit of a shame, because Bridget tends to dither and the film drags a lot while trying to figure out how to wring laughs out of two men who won’t fight for their potential son.
In short, if you liked the first two Bridget Jones films, you should enjoy this one well enough. But like that friend, you may be wondering why you’re still putting up with some of the silliness.
Spolier-filled review: When I mentioned before that the film tends to drag, the opposite is true for the last 20 minutes or so. The filmmakers, clearly not wanting to have riots on their hands, want to tie everything up in a nice little bow. So rather than imply anything, we actually get to see Bridget marrying Mark. And we’re told that Bridget’s baby is Mark’s. And Jack is still a happy member of Bridget’s life, acting like best buddies with Mark. And just for good measure – Daniel is revealed to be alive! Though the filmmakers were so rushed to show a newspaper showing this news, they neglected to figure out that Daniel’s having been missing for a year would mean he would have turned up around the time when Bridget had given birth, NOT one year after that when Bridget and Mark finally get married. I don’t know why Hugh Grant decided not to bother showing up for this film, but if they do try and make a fourth film, they better get Daniel to show up for that one. Maybe then there will be some proper fireworks.