Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Bridget Jones’s Baby</strong> (2016)

(On Cable TV, May 2017) I really liked the first Bridget Jones’s Diary, but as someone who believes that romantic comedies should never have sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason didn’t impress as much, and I’m even less enthusiastic about Bridget Jones’s Baby. This third film of the series has additional issues in that it takes place much, much later—so late, in fact, that what was adorably goofball behaviour by Bridget Jones in her twenties now seems a bit sad and unbecoming to someone in her forties. The youthful charm of the character has worn extremely thin and reviving a romantic triangle (involving uncertain paternity, no less) in that context seems more desperate than amusing. Those objections duly noted (and acknowledging that Zellweger, in growing older, seems to have become far more generic an actress), Bridget Jones’s Baby remains a mildly enjoyable piece of romantic comedy. The plot cheats are egregious, the humiliation comedy gets old, the ultimate issue is rarely in doubt. But parts of it are fun, the script is intermittently self-aware, Colin Firth is dependably good, Ed Sheeran shows up in a cute cameo and Zellweger can still pull at masculine protective heartstrings. On the other hand, let’s not pretend that this third entry in the series does anything but coast on the merits of its predecessors, and is likely destined to “third movie in the series bundle” status within a few years, never to be sold as anything but part of the DVD set. I’d ask the series to stop now before Bridget Jones’s Toddler, but I’m really not confident that anyone will listen.

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