Thoughts on ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’

I watched ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’ on the flight home from my recent holiday.
I’m glad that I’ve seen it, for completeness. It’s nice to have followed her story all the way through, even of the missing years are a bit disconcerting, and perhaps it’s a huge relief not to have to sit and cringe my way through them!
Note: “spoilers” ahead, but I’ve tried to keep them to a minimum.
This movie got more reactions from me than many movies I’ve seen recently, mostly because of the AWFUL cringeworthy moments (like Fawlty Towers), but some of it was quite heartfelt & real, and I cried.
The acting is perfect. Renee Zellweger gives a brave and convincing performance. Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey are as dependable as always. Emma Thompson is her unfailing best. All of the supporting cast are great – I can’t fault any of them. They make a great ensemble of good performances. It’s just some storyline details I have issue with.
I liked the fact that Bridget finally got married to a man she loves and who loves her back. It would have been good to have ended the movie there, without the ‘diary entry’ voiceover. At that point there was closure, a neatly tidied ending for all of the characters, including both men.
I can see that it’s good literary structure/symmetry for Bridget to observe that she’s a “singleton no more”, because she began the series by describing herself disparagingly as a singleton.
But: the way it was put in there without expanding to reveal maturity or character growth just ruined the whole movie. Bridget was smug about being married, and smug about finally being smug. It was as though the whole point was to be married for the sake of putting it on her Resume.
If the message of the movie is: people don’t grow and change and they just stay stupid their entire lives, being rescued by better people (because both Mark and Jack are better people, not just richer, saner people), then that final diary entry achieved it.
However, I think there was much more to the movie. (There is probably more to the book too, but I haven’t read it.)
There were several points in the movie that illustrated how shallow and idiotic Bridget continues to be, eg. her thoughts as she walks along the street near the beginning of the movie. It’s a genuine struggle for people to lose weight, and it is an achievement, but it’s not a ‘life’s purpose’. Neither is getting married. That’s part of the point of Bridget as a character: we’re supposed to laugh at her. However, she also had moments of maturity and common sense.
Those moments of common sense were not at work. She did numerous ridiculous things at work. Not small things either. It really made me wonder how she’s survived there for so long, and why on earth she had such support and love from her colleagues.
We discover, this movie, where Bridget gets her silliness from: her mother & father are equally daft. We also see wonderful moments of Bridget asserting herself, and the genuine love her parents have for her. They listen. They take her seriously. These moments are evidence that Bridget is worth watching, there’s a heroine buried beneath the idiocy.
Bridget is remarkably mature in her approach to the baby, and in trying to handle the two possible fathers. The mayhem around this is entirely understandable. Perhaps her wedding veil is another example of her more mature approach to things. As was the eventual reveal of the reason that she and Mark had split before this movie. The fact that she actually had grown as a person made the last diary entry all the more irritating.
In the end, I need to remember that this movie is supposed to be a comedy. The fact that there is any character development at all amongst the verbal slapstick is a bonus.
It’s worth watching if you enjoy British comedy, and/or liked the first ‘Bridget Jones’ movies. I just wish they’d edited the ending of this one differently.
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