By Ryan Keating-Lambert
England’s lovable accident-prone and binge-drinking singleton has returned. It’s been 15 years since the original Bridget Jones’s Diary and after a just OK sequel, the brand spanking new Bridget Jones’s Baby took a gamble this year as have a variety of other sequels that have popped up more than a decade after their originals, and failed or just barely scraped through (Independence Day: Resurgence – the worst). The new Jones hasn’t just scraped through – it may have actually exceeded the original.
Renée Zellweger has been pretty quiet on the scene recently, but looks as if she will make a return in the near future with a few movies in the pipeline. I’m just glad that she made a triumphant return with a character that millions love her for. Zellweger brings the endless charm and whimsical wit of Jones in the earlier films and seamlessly merges it with 2016. She’s updated her diary to an iPad and recording her usual love life struggles as well as new struggles, including the inevitable takeover of her television station by ironical millennial hipsters. We’ve all kind of been there recently, haven’t we? I think a lot of people can relate to Bridget and with a surprise pregnancy thrown into the mix, you’re in for a laugh and a half.
Speaking of laughs, every support actor in this film contributes. A special mention however must go to Jones’s station colleague Miranda (Sarah Solemani) who almost had me in tears whenever on screen. Emma Thompson was also brilliant as the cynical but kind-hearted Dr. Rawlings. Colin Firth returns as Mark Darcy and Patrick Dempsey jumps in as the American distraction for Jones, but it’s the women who really run this film, and you can see that these actresses had a lot of fun with it.
Speaking of women, original Bridget Jones’s Diary director Sharon Maguire has returned for this one. The Edge of Reason was directed by Beeban Kidron, making this trilogy the only directed entirely by women. With minimal changes from the book, it’s clear that author Helen Fielding obviously knows what she’s writing and how to put that on screen.
Bridget Jones’s Baby is probably one of the best comedies so far this year. It’s an all-round winner. A romantic comedy with a bit of heart, but not too much. Despite the original being hilarious AND well written, it did have more cheese than mum’s lasagne.. But maybe that was a standard rom com thing back then. Limited cheese and cracking humour with a modern twist put this instalment way above the last, and maybe even on par or above the original.