Bridget Jones is back! After a 12-year break, Renee Zellweger has returned as the British singleton after previously playing her in 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and sequel 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Bridget is now shockingly slim, in her 40s, and has been single since she split from Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) five years before. At least her professional life is better than ever; she’s now the producer of Hard News. Her presenter Miranda (Sarah Solemani) is determined to end Bridget’s dry spell and brings her to a music festival.
While there, she meets Internet dating entrepreneur Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey) and enjoys a night of passion, and days later, she has a moment of weakness with Mark, so when she discovers she’s pregnant she has no idea who the dad is. Jack and Mark compete against each other to win Bridget’s affections, which quickly descends into pettiness, especially because Jack is overly romantic as Mark struggles to express his feelings.
Despite the actors’ aging and references to Tinder and technology, you would never know there had been such a gap because it’s so in keeping with the others. The returning cast are just as wonderful and charming as before and the film retains the awkward and uncomfortable humour the previous movies were filled with.
It does take a while to get used to Zellweger’s new appearance because Bridget is normally a bit rounder but this time she is slim and the reason is only mentioned in passing. Firth is greying around the edges but is still as gentlemanly as ever and, despite being a newcomer to the franchise, Dempsey, a romantic comedy pro, fits in with the others seamlessly and will certainly please the ladies in the audience.
All three leads are perfectly capable of handling both the comedic situations and heartfelt, touching scenes with ease and there are some hilarious psychical comedy moments, such as them both trying to get Bridget to the hospital.
Most of the supporting characters, such as franchise favourites Sally Phillips and Jim Broadbent, return, but Hugh Grant, aka Daniel Cleaver, is noticeably missing. And although Grant was such a big part of the last two you soon forget about him once Dempsey is on the scene. Emma Thompson, who helped co-write the script, is another brilliant newcomer as Bridget’s midwife, and she provides a lot of laughs.
For the entire film the audience are left guessing who the father is and who eternal singleton Bridget will finally end up with and as always, we are left rooting for her to make the right decision and finally end her long-time quest to settle down.
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