Well, thank goodness they did a total rewrite and didn’t try to use the most recent Bridget Jones book, Mad About the Boy, as the basis for this film. This is a book spoiler alert – in the book, Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget is raising their kids alone and is (as always) desperate for a man. It was a good book, but oh so sad! Thank goodness Helen Fielding was on board for creating a whole new story.
Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is single again, having broken up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) a few years previous, and he found someone else and married. She’s a successful news producer, although still makes typical “Oh, Bridget” mistakes. That would get most people fired on the spot. Suspend that disbelief. She goes off to a weekend camping festival with news presenter and mate Miranda (Sarah Solemani) and bumps into the very hot Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and they have a good old shag. A week later at one of her mate’s kid’s christening (which for some reason is as big a party as a wedding, these people are insanely rich) she bumps into Mark who reveals he is getting divorced and they have a good old shag. Three months later, Bridget finds out she is pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. She tells them both and the rest of the film is competition win Bridget over.
It’s great – if you love Bridget Jones and this type of film. All of the old cast are back – Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sally Phillips, Shirley Henderson and then get great surprises like Emma Thompson as the fabulous obstetrician and Neil Pearson as one of Bridget’s colleagues. There is the issue of being all about a woman needing a man to fulfil her, which was always the goal of Bridget and always felt to me a bit disempowering for women. However what works here is that Bridget is successful in her career already and has a fabulous flat and great friends. She doesn’t desperately seek the handsome American as probably would have happened in earlier episodes – in fact, only tracking him down when she needed some info about paternity. My favourite moment was that, even though she loves Mark Darcy and clearly they get along well and love each other, she pushes him away because he is a workaholic. She doesn’t blame him, but just clearly states it didn’t work for her for the ten or so years that they were together and she’s not prepared to go back there. Go Bridget!