Bridget Jones's Baby a.k.a. Bridget Jones 3
12 years after the first sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) that was panned by most critics, the director of its predecessor Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Sharon Maguire, returns along with co-screenwriter Helen Fielding for this third instalment which is, strangely, not an adaptation of the third book in Fielding's own Bridget Jones series. Instead, it's based on the fictional columns that Fielding wrote for The Independence in 2005.
Regardless, the story is set years after Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) have broken up (again) with the love of her life Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), is currently single in her 40s and suddenly finds herself pregnant after that two nights of sex with two guys — one's Darcy and the other's a one night stand with stranger named Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey). Who's the father? That's what she cannot know until the baby is born for DNA testing but she feels responsible to inform both the candidates.
Great performance once again by Renee Zellwenger (Jerry Maguire, Nurse Betty) as the adorably funny titular protagonist and Colin Firth (Kingsman, The King's Speech), too, reprises her role well as Jones' clean but socially awkward lawyer ex. Patrick Dempsey (Enchanted, Grey's Anatomy TV series) joins the cast as the rather unrealistically kind millionaire entrepreneur to replace Hugh Grant's character as Darcy's new love (and father) rival. Grant's playboy character Daniel Cleaver is unnecessary involved here a little but he never makes an actual appearance and thankfully, Jones and Darcy have moved on from their history with him.
Jones is older now and slightly more mature and experienced than we last saw her but shit still hilariously happens to her and the film keeps the spirit of having the heroine work through the problems like before despite all the humiliation and actual loneliness at her age. While Jones' love and work life misfortunes and adventures are still the chief providers of humour, the film also takes a jab at the politics, younger generation and media motivations of today.
While the film has its genre cliches and a disappointing fairytale-like ending, and it may also fall short in comparison with the first film, Bridget Jones's Baby has most of its form returned by the director and needless to say, it's far better than the previous instalment. It's fun to watch packed with plenty of laughter and quite a romantic experience for adult audiences (especially if you watch it with your other half at places like TGV Cinemas Indulge). Female audiences who grew up with the first two films may find it far more relatable than I did as well.
Malaysian censorship: Rated 18 here, the film seems to be uncensored with all the F-bombs, sexiness and non-nude love scenes intact. No reason not to watch it at the cinema.
Verdict: Proves that a chick flick sequel can be decent when done right.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Based on: Fictional columns and "Bridget Jones" novels by Helen Fielding
Genre: Romance comedy
Running Time: 123 minutes
Director: Sharon Maguire
Screenwriter: Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer, Emma Thompson
Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
Malaysia Release Date: 29 September 2016
Local Distributor: UIP Malaysia
Production: Miramax, StudioCanal, Working Title
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