Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) - Review

by - March 17, 2019

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.

Old flame. New fling. Big problem.

As big of a fan as I was of Bridget Jones's Diary, I somehow missed seeing Bridget Jones's Baby in the theater when it premiered in 2016. Rewatching The Edge of Reason this month I realized I probably skipped the third movie because of my disappointment in the second. Not to mention the fact that Hugh Grant had dropped out and I think I was afraid of Patrick Dempsey being brought on to play Daniel Cleaver Lite. Plus, how much more Bridget and Mark drama could I really handle at this point?

In any case, after rewatching The Edge of Reason, I realized Sharon Maguire had come back to the director's chair for Bridget Jones's Baby, so I was eager to give it a try and see if it could recapture any of the magic from the first film. While it's not quite on par, Bridget Jones's Baby was a solid, satisfying ending to Bridget's story.

Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is now forty-three, pleased that she is at her "ideal weight" and has a pretty decent job as a television producer. She and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) have at some point broken up, and Bridget spots he and his wife Camilla at the funeral for presumed dead Daniel Cleaver. Shazzer (Sally Phillips) and Jude (Shirley Henderson) are both married with children and Tom (James Callis) is adopting with his partner Eduardo, leaving Bridget as the lone singleton in their circle. She decides to spend a weekend with her single friend and colleague Miranda (Sarah Solemani) at an outdoor music festival and while there, meets Jake (Patrick Dempsey). After a lot of alcohol and mistaking his yurt for her own, Bridget and Jake sleep together.

And of course, at the christening of Jude's baby, Bridget runs into Mark who reveals he and Camilla are getting divorced, and he missed Bridget. Lingering feelings and familiarity bring them together, though Bridget leaves a note with Mark the next morning explaining that she doesn't think the two of them trying again would be a good idea, given how they were unable to get over the finish line for the past ten years. It's a mature move for Bridget, who is perhaps afraid of getting hurt again. Unfortunately, thanks to some old, "eco-friendly" condoms that failed, Bridget finds herself pregnant and she has no idea who the father is.

After some typical Bridget-esque shenanigans and embarrassment, Bridget comes clean with both Jake and Mark about their circumstances. Both men handle the news differently, but they both want to be there for Bridget, and it's clear they both want to be the father. The movie could have made Jake a jerk to make the choice an easy one, but it was kind of refreshing that Jake was polite, sweet and clearly interested in Bridget even before she told him she was pregnant. He's a millionaire who made his fortune with an algorithm that helps people find love, and of course, he and Bridget are 97% compatible. Oh yeah, he's also pretty great with kids. Mark is, well, Mark. Still a bit snobbish and emotionally stunted, but still very clearly in love with Bridget - his compatibility with Bridget? An abysmal 8%. A major bonus to the movie is Emma Thompson who shows up in the wonderfully cheeky role as Bridget's droll OBGYN. She is the only one to tell Bridget she doesn't need actually need either man, that she could do this on her own if she really wanted to, despite the obvious amusement she finds in Bridget's unique situation.

Maguire keeps the movie moving along, following the same stylish structure that worked so well in the first film. While there is less humiliation to snicker at, it's still incredibly funny as Bridget comes to terms with this late life change. Zellweger is as delightful as ever and even after ten years, she hasn't missed a beat. She is still the same old Bridget, but with some traces of wisdom and a desire to own who she is and be content with it, with or without a man. Bridget remains as likable as ever, and despite a few uneven patches, the movie will still resonate with fans, even if they were disappointed with the second installment as I was. I won't lie, I was desperate for my Mark and Bridget happy ending and I might have gotten a little misty-eyed in the last ten minutes or so. There are so few rom-com trilogies that make the big screen, and Bridget as a character is so very near and dear to my heart. I'm glad she got the kind of send-off I had been wanting for her.

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent
Directed by: Sharon Maguire
Rated: R
Watched: 03.17.2019
Fun Facts:
- The events in the novel, Mad About the Boy (Fielding's third installment of her Bridget Jones series) takes place after the events of this movie.
- Three different endings were filmed for the movie, but the cast did not know which one would be used until they saw it in the theater.
- Bridget now uses an iPad as a diary.
- Emma Thompson helped polish the screenplay.
Notable Song: Still Falling For You by Ellie Goulding

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  1. I'm really glad you gave this one a chance! I can barely remember the second BJ movie it was so terrible, but I loved the final movie! The scene where Mark Darcy races Bridget into hospital had me in stitches I was laughing so hard.

    1. It was so sweet!! I did love that Darcy got her there and Jake tried to take over and could barely get 5 steps in. I also watched the gag reel and Colin Firth falls over with Renee out of camera and you can hear them asking if they're all right and Renee calls him sweetheart and it's just so sweeet. SIGH. I did enjoy this one so I am happy to have finally watched it :)

  2. That was such a fun movie! and yeah Dempsey's character wasn't just like Daniel but a cool dude so that made that whole love triangle more exciting. I laughed so hard when they were carrying her to the hospital

    1. I do wonder what the movie would have been like had Hugh Grant stayed on, but I think the love triangle was more interesting with another decent guy rather than the sleaze you know she won't end up with.

  3. Wonderful review! I didn't see BJB in theatres either after being disappointed with Edge of Reason, but this was a great finale for the character. It was funny and heartfelt, and really made you root for everyone to get a happy ending of some kind. And I'm happy that they didn't take the book's approach too.

    1. Totally agree! I'm not sure I'll ever read Mad About the Boy. I'm pretty content with the ending of BJB and I don't want to ruin it.


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