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Bridget's back with a bump

The third in the trilogy: 40-something, single... and pregnant

Kim Taylor-Foster

Reporter:

Kim Taylor-Foster

Bridget's back with a bump

Bridget Jones’s Baby (15)
Running time 2hrs 3mins
Rating: 

BRIDGET Jones’s Baby is full of moments that make you cringe. And it’s not the points actually designed to make you hide your face behind your fingers that’s responsible – it’s all those unintentional squeaky-bum sequences.

It’s not that Bridget Jones (Renée Zellwegger) is 25 years older than the rest of the revellers at the music festival she’s gone to. Nor is it the moment she falls face-first into the mud, dressed head-to-toe in white, feet clad in snake-print kitten heels. It’s not the moment when the guy she thinks has got her pregnant and whom she’s invited on to the TV news show she produces spots her in the gallery, compelling her to hide, either. It’s the sequence in which she’s dancing and singing alone in her flat to House of Pain’s Jump Around, and the scene where she’s chatting through an earpiece with her friend – show presenter Miranda (Sarah Solemani) – between news segments.

In short, Bridget Jones’s Baby – at least at the start – has got things off balance. The parts that are supposed to make us identify with her alienate us, and the parts that are meant to make us cringe, or feel sorry for her, leave us cold.

Fortunately, though, as the film falls into its stride, it overcomes its early awkwardness to blossom into a piece of implausible escapism, not too far removed from its predecessors. A win, mostly, for Bridget Jones fans. If you’ve seen the trailers, it’s giving nothing away to say its plot hinges on Bridget not knowing who the father of her unborn baby is.

She and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) have been split up for some time, following 10 years together. But a couple of nights of passion leads to pregnancy. Only, one of those nights is with another man… a certain Jack Qwant (Patrick ‘McDreamy’ Dempsey). With a new young boss at work intent on clearing out the old guard, she’s got more than an unexpected
pregnancy on her plate – but she bumbles her way through to the film’s climax in true Bridget Jones style. Dishing up the kind of blundering high-jinx fans love alongside the sort of London location shots Richard Curtis would be proud of, director of the original Sharon Maguire neatly and satisfyingly pulls the curtains on a quintessentially British trilogy.

Boosted by a scene-thieving performance from national treasure Emma Thompson as the midwife, coupled with Colin Firth’s
charmingly sincere reprisal as Mark Darcy, along with Jim Broadbent’s unbearably sweet and awkward dad, Bridget Jones’s Baby is an initially stuttering yet ultimately gratifying conclusion to the everywoman saga that defined the 90s.

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