REVIEW: Bridget Jones’ Baby has the formula for success – without milking it

bridget-jones

Seeing Bridget Jones, news journalist, independent woman and “wanton sex goddess”, again is like greeting an old friend; exciting, hilarious, warm and emotional. The third film in the series, Bridget Jones’ Baby (guess what it’s about!) provides all of these feelings in abundance in what is a fantastic, feel-good romp.

Bridget (Renee Zellwegger back in my favourite of her roles) is doing very well these days; a top news producer gig, she’s finally reached that pesky goal weight and she’s found some exciting new friends, since the last lot have all become wives and mothers. There’s one thing she is missing, however: a shag. So, enter Patrick Dempsey (excuse the pun) as Jack Qwant, a dashing American millionaire mogul with whom Bridget enjoys a night of passion with at a music festival. More familiarly, she also knocks boots with old flame Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) and finds herself with child.

What could have been a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy is made engaging by a hilarious script by Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer and actress Emma Thompson, who also stars as a scene-stealing gynecologist. It’s helped along by the return of almost all of the original cast (sans Hugh Grant – you’ll quickly find out what happened to Cleaver). Sally Phillips. Shirley Henderson, Celia Imrie and Jim Broadbent all appear.

When Zellwegger resurfaced last year after a (voluntary) hiatus from Hollywood, the press pack went IN. Reports she had had cosmetic surgery, the usual ageist remarks from the catty crew and of course, everyone asked just why she had been away so long. With this cloud engulfind the actress, it would be easy to forget that she is just that. An actress – and a fine one at that. This return (don’t call it a comeback) to comedy is a triumph. Everything we loved about Bridget the first time round becomes apparent immediately in the opening scene, as she listend to All By Myself as she had done so famously before. The accent is again en pointe and the audience is genuinely gripped by the ‘who’s the daddy?’ drama right up until a teary-eyed finale. Dempsey and Firth are excellent in their parts; Firth delivering his usual, but warm, stick-up-the-arse Briton as Mark and Dempsey proving just why he earned the nickname Dr McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy (cue swoons). My star of the whole shabang was Sarah Solemani as Bridget’s co-worker Miranda. Best known for Bad Education, this could be Solemani’s ticket to Hollywood. She, along with Thompson, commands attention in every scene she’s in and she and Zellwegger prove a mighty fine double act.

Bridget Jones’ Baby has the formula for success down. Not as good as the first, way better than the second and leaves the door open for a fourth. With this though, they have delivered one of the best comedies of the year – without milking it.

Watch the trailer here.

Bridget Jones’ Baby is in cinemas now

Photo: All Star/Universal

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