Bridget Jones’s Baby – She’s Back With a Bump!

There are no surprises, and there’s definitely nothing in this movie we haven’t seen before, but Bridget hasn’t let us down and has aged as ungracefully as we hoped. She’s still wandering the universe creating disasters and getting tripped up by life, while all the time success lies within her grasp. This endless floundering manages to hit the mark often enough to make our feckless heroine entertaining enough to watch one more time.

Bridget is about to celebrate her 43rd birthday and is doomed to reach this milestone alone. Her relationship with Darcy is well and truly over and Daniel, her other important ex, was a passenger on a plane that just nose-dived into the Pacific.

bridget_joness_baby_posterIn the absence of a body, a memorial service is being held, which is where Bridget bumps into Darcy. He’s there with his wife, and seeing the two together sends Bridget into a spiral of despair. In an attempt to cheer her up, a friend takes her for a fun weekend to the Glastonbury festival, where she has a fling with a handsome American. His identity is unknown to everyone, including his inebriated bed mate.

Just days later, Bridget meets Darcy again at a christening and he informs her he and his wife are getting a divorce. This leads to more conversation and, eventually, Darcy’s bed. Bridget leaves early the next morning, regretting her actions and leaving a note to this effect. A few weeks later, she discovers she’s pregnant and, in typical irrational style, gets Darcy and the American together to share her news, making it clear she doesn’t know which of them is the father.

The disasters that accumulatively create the story’s plot are pretty unimaginative and frequently fall into farce. Characters, and Bridget in particular, are afflicted with such tunnel-vision that they are unable to find a way around even the simplest problem. When Bridget goes into a bank lobby to withdraw cash, she leaves with her belongings still inside. Obviously, all she has to do is wait for the next customer to let her back in, but instead she creates a drama when there really isn’t one, sending the story into melodrama.

There’s an equal reliance on good old misunderstandings and all-too-convenient co-incidences which, in such a realistic plot, are out-of-place. With such a high-profile project, it’s surprising the writers didn’t work harder to find more interesting and plausible ways to tell their tale.

What does work exceptionally well is the contribution made by Emma Thompson, who plays Bridget’s seen it all doctor. Ms. Thompson delivers her sardonic lines with such dead-pan precision it’s hardly recognizable as wit until the final word falls. There’s also a lot of fun courtesy of Bridget’s snooty mother, who decides to turn her daughter’s pregnancy into a mini-crusade for every single mother in the land.

So what’s next for Bridget? Probably a few years respite while she settles into motherhood, after which she’ll be ready to bounce onto our screens again. And who can we expect to see in tow? Could it be her assumed-dead ex, who did, in fact, survive the plane crash? Perhaps he’s spent the last decade on Island Paradise but is now ready to reclaim his life and, hopefully, his girl. Helen Fielding, if you’re reading this, have I read your mind?

Adapted from the novel by Helen Fielding


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