Bridget Jones's Baby
Renee Zellweger returns as a newly-pregnant Bridget Jones in this disappointing new instalment of the comedy franchise
Bridget Jones – who once served blue plastic soup to her friends, isn't that adorable? – is back. Now 43 years old, she's at her 'perfect weight' (though still trying to lose more, because even perfect is not good enough), and accidentally pregnant after fun nights a week apart with handsome American Jack (Patrick Dempsey), and Mark (Colin Firth), the ex she never got over. (The other recurring man in her life, Hugh Grant's Daniel Cleaver, is out of the picture.) Which one is the father? And for how long can she string them both along and allow each to believe the baby is his?
Baby continues the tradition of the Bridget films of infantilising women and indulging in a wholly uncritical way the sorts of clichéd obsessions women have been trying to throw off: those with weight, marriage, and babymaking. Though we're meant to see Bridget (Renee Zellweger) as charming and endearing, there is little more than unpleasant self-hatred in Bridget's fretting about being a 'spinster', and nothing delightful at all in her cruelty to two men who don't deserve such poor treatment.
Personally and professionally, Bridget seems incapable of acting like an adult. At work – she's a TV news producer now – she is incompetent, ignorant, and lacks integrity, but only the villain here, a 20-something hipster consultant (the very funny Kate O'Flynn), speaks the truth, if only briefly, about how terrible she is at her job. (Emma Thompson as Bridget's obstetrician delivers a smacking down of the father question, but there's nowhere near enough of her, either.)
Bridget Jones is not cute. She is not charming. She is unstable, irrational, and just plain awful.
General release from Fri Sept 16.