It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bad sequel can ruin a good film. Not so Bridget Jones’s Baby. For doubters wondering if this sequel is another 2016 cash-cow, rest assured; you can put on your big knickers and celebrate.
It’s fifteen years since Bridget stumbled onto the screen, capturing affluent urban singles at the start of the 21st century. Part of the magic of Bridget Jones’s Diary is the window it offers into a world not quite on the cusp of digital dating, when flirty work emails were a novelty and a diary might still be written by hand. The danger for Baby was whether it would coast on a moment long gone; but then Bridget uses Facetime or goes to a spin class, and it becomes clear this film has claimed a moment of its own.
Buoyed by clever (and funny) observations on modern life, Baby shores up its existing cast with new additions who feel like old friends. Sarah Solemani fills in perfectly for married/offspring’d Shaz, Tom and Jude, and Patrick Dempsey is far more than Daniel Cleaver-lite as Bridget’s new paramour. But, after Bridget, the film really belongs to Colin Firth, whose sincere and engaged performance proves that Baby is much more than a paycheque. More than anything, the best thing about Bridget Jones’s Baby is that it’s funny. There are genuine belly-laughs to be had throughout, with particular deference to clever slapstick that shows off the comedy chops of its leads.
Funny (nay, hilarious), modern, intelligent, and good-willed, Bridget Jones’s Baby proves that sequels aren’t always a bad idea. Building on the success of older sister Diary (and forgiving the sins of less-well received middle sister, Edge of Reason), Baby has a well-earned place in the pantheon of British comedy.
CAST: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey
DIRECTOR: Sharon Maguire
WRITERS: Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer, Emma Thompson
SYNOPSIS: Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.